Mike Pence Announces Plan To Launch ‘Space Force,’ Sixth Branch Of U.S. Military, By 2020
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday detailed a major plan to launch a sixth branch of the U.S. military called the “Space Force” by 2020.
President Donald Trump had first suggested the idea of a Space Force earlier this summer. Pence claimed the creation of such a military branch was vital in order for the U.S. to compete with other nations like Russia and China.
“Just as we’ve done in ages past, the United States will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield,” said Pence, according to the Washington Post. “The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.”
The Air Force was the last of the five military branches created, having been launched in 1947 after World War II. Creation of a new branch would require Congressional approval.
Pence added that as part of the plans for the Space Force, new positions like Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space would need to be created and that they would likely report to the Secretary of Defense.
The Post reported that the Trump administration has urged Congress to spend “an additional $8 billion in national security space systems” throughout the course of the next five years.
“America will always seek peace, in space as on earth,” Pence said Thursday. “But history proves that peace only comes through strength. And in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength.”
Many Pentagon officials and other top military figures have voiced opposition to the Space Force, citing financial or efficiency reasons among other arguments.
After Trump first announced the Space Force in June, many Twitter users took jabs at the president for focusing his priorities on this idea rather than on reuniting immigrant families separated at the border.
Trump gave the order to begin creating the Space Force today because he’s furious there’s still one kind of alien that he hasn’t separated from its parents.
— Brock Wilbur (@brockwilbur) June 18, 2018
Maybe if there’s time @POTUS the Space Force could quickly rescue the kids locked in the cages in the Walmart?
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) June 18, 2018
Mom: “Did you crash the car/implement a policy that separates children from their families?”
Son: “Have you heard about space force?”
— Jordan Klepper (@jordanklepper) June 18, 2018
unless this “space force” is in charge of ending the separation of families at the border, stick it up your butt https://t.co/WR7v6CMuFO
— Joselyn Hughes (@joselynhughes) June 18, 2018