President Donald Trump has announced his administration will form a new Space Force branch of the U.S. military, claiming that it is necessary for the United States to maintain its superpower status in the final frontier.
But the Pentagon and Congress should not rush to establish the branch without first acknowledging and weighing the downsides, expert told Space.com.
Trump: “We should have a new force called the Space Force. It’s like the Army and the Navy, but for space, because we’re spending a lot of money on space.” pic.twitter.com/p7YVX6gecz
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) March 13, 2018
On June 18, Trump ordered the Pentagon to form a sixth branch of the military dedicated to space. Congress is set to back that request with legislation that would be included in the 2020 defense policy bill, according to Space.com.
There are plenty of critics, including former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, however, who say that the Space Force is a shiny object that distracts from the real debate. “It is a virtual certainty that if a space force is legislated and goes through, it will consume a lot of time, a lot of effort and absolutely will be a distraction,” she told Space.com.
James says her concern is that Space Force will come at a huge price because it will “slow down the momentum” in the Air Force to accelerate space investments and programs.
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