By presidential order, the United States now has a Space Command. It is not a Space Force or a sixth branch of the military.
Last week President Trump ordered the creation of a Space Command. He has raised space security to the same level as other combatant commands, and is in line with long-held plans in the Pentagon for a space agency.
Nominations will be made for a commander and deputy commander. Vice President Mike Pence said the Space Command will integrate space capabilities across all branches of the military. It will develop a space doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures “that will enable our warfighters to defend our nation in this new era,” the vice president said. He added that the president would outline plans for a Space Force.
A Space Force would be a military branch like the Army, Navy and Air Force. President Trump promised creation of a Space Force. He is expected to face opposition, even perhaps from the military. The president said the first time he mentioned a Space Force he was not that serious, but later it seemed like a good idea to him.
The Department of Defense last August published a report on how it planned a Space Force by 2020 to address technological advancements by Russia and China. After the president’s announcement that a Space Command will be created, Russia and China certainly will follow suit.
A Space Force would need congressional approval. That may be tough to come by if for no other reason than the cost.
There always has been an element of rivalry among the branches of the military. We heard about it from a World War I veteran. It’s a good-natured rivalry that’s been around for a long time. When the chips are down, the branches work well together.
With the leaders among the branches there can be jealousy, friction over tactics and disagreements over strategies planned.
But in the end, the military branches cooperate and bury their disagreements.
We should work toward a Space Force. Its future may be many years away. We shouldn’t ignore space. We really are at the beginning of much more to come in space.
Will wars be fought in space in the years ahead?