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Trump sets goal to create USA military Space Force by 2020

Mike Pence expected to announce plans for ‘Space Force’ in U.S. military

Trump first broached the idea in March, reviving a debate that began nearly 20 years ago about whether the Pentagon's space activities should be moved to a new command.

In his speech, Pence highlighted aggressive maneuvers in space by countries such as Russian Federation and China.

He added, "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead".

The force would be created by 2020, Pence said. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he opposed "the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions".

But Mattis signaled earlier this week that establishing a combatant command was a possibility.

"America will always seek peace, in space as on earth", Pence said. "This is a process we're in". Today, other nations are seeking to disrupt our space-based systems and challenge American supremacy in space as never before. "And we're going to have to address it as other countries show a capability to attack those assets".

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

"We must have American dominance in space, and so we will", Pence said in his speech at the Pentagon.

Trump has been fixated with the idea of a Space Force for months, bringing it up at a number of rallies and White House events throughout the year.

"Initially the Department will recommend that the Air Force Space Command commander be dual-hatted as commander of the unified command", the report said.

Standing in front of the Space Shuttle Discovery, Vice President Pence‬ delivers remarks before convening the first meeting of the reestablished National Space Council at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., last year.

Currently, the Air Force oversees most space capabilities and there is some push back from officials who worry Space Force's mission would be duplicative and create turf wars.

For years, some members of Congress and military leaders have been warning that space is no longer a peaceful sanctuary, but a war fighting domain that needs more attention and resources.

In a letter to a USA congressman, he said he did "not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations", adding it would create extra bureaucracy and cost.

"This is a half-baked idea", said Loren Thompson, a defense industry consultant and military analyst at the Lexington Institute.

Pence's speech was timed to coincide with the release of the Pentagon's report to Congress on the recommended organization and management structure of space components for the Department of Defense. "If that same view prevails in Congress, then it isn't going to happen".

"It will be fit for goal is what I can assure you, but I don't have all the final answers yet, we're still putting that together", he said.

But the move has faced some signs of skepticism from the Defense Department. It was only seven weeks ago that President Trump directed DoD to begin the process.