As our nation’s enemies continue to push the bounds of terrestrial technology, the United States is looking at out-of-this-world ways to bolster their defenses.
President Trump has long insisted on creating a sixth branch of the US military, colloquially known as “Space Force”, to this end. Liberal comedians and pundits have mocked the idea mercilessly, as they do with all-things Trump, despite the very real threat posed by Russian and Chinese atmospheric weapons and hypersonic warheads.
In what may be a stepping stone toward the reality of a new American fighting force, the White House is reviving a long-dormant US organization known as Space Command.
Space Command traces its roots back to 1985, when it was established by the Air Force to coordinate missile defense and surveillance efforts at a time when the Cold War was again heating up.
But times — and presidential priorities — change, and after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, federal authorities turned their attentions to combating terrorism. Space Command was merged into the unified Strategic Command in 2002, when it was repurposed to focus on the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.
It wasn’t until late last year that President Trump formally ordered the Pentagon to strip the Strategic Command of its “space‑related responsibilities” and give them to a separate entity, one tasked with overseeing all U.S. military and intelligence efforts in space. That includes defending American satellites, supporting American troops from orbit and planning how future combat might be conducted in space.
The President has brought some rather big names on board as well.
Air Force Gen. John Raymond has been tapped — and Senate-confirmed — to lead the reestablished group. Raymond was a natural candidate for the role: For the past three years, he has led the Air Force Space Command, the confusingly similarly named office that focuses solely on Air Force operations in space. That division has been around since 1982. Splitting it from the Air Force and making it an independent entity has been floated by some as one possible means of creating a sixth armed service.
Creating a Space Force, as a separate military branch, would require congressional approval – something that seems unlikely at this time given the democratic “resistance” to the entirety of Donald Trump’s agenda.
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