Trump space force - a real need but hazy planning

White House to press forward with Trump's Space Command

"Our nation's Armed Forces have always been at the vanguard of advancing American leadership beyond the bounds of Earth, and the Space Force will ensure a new era of American supremacy in space".

The council's recommendations are set to be made at a meeting later on Tuesday at the National Defense University in Washington, where Vice President Mike Pence is also scheduled to speak.

But congressional support of the Space Force proposal is not certain, and Pentagon officials have said standing up a new military service could cost billions of dollars.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves to the news media before boarding Air Force One to depart for travel to Houston, TX, from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., October 22, 2018.

On Tuesday, Pence described the proposed Space Force as the "next and natural evolution of our armed forces", arguing that USA adversaries such as China and Russian Federation are developing new technologies, such as hypersonic missiles, that make space a place where wars can be fought.

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Vice President Mike Pence chose not rule out the possibility of nuclear weapons in space, telling The Washington Post on Tuesday that "peace comes through strength". "And there are a number of steps that will be launched in the very short term but that will ultimately lead to the launch of a Department of the United States Space Force in the next national Defense Authorization Act", Pence said. "It will be a consolidation, we believe, and from there future Congresses and future administrations can grow and expand and nurture. the Space Force as they see fit", Pence added.

Pence said the Trump administration was already working closely with congressional leaders on "both sides of the Capitol building" to include funding for the Space Force in next year's defense budget.

Critics, including some Democratic lawmakers, have said its creation is an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavor that would simply shift work already being done well by other services like the Air Force.

The US military is made up of five branches: the Army, Air Force (which now oversees space operations), the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

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