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The White House is unsure about Trump’s idea of a separate Space Force

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US President Donald Trump
President Donald
Trump.

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Images


  • The White House does not appear to be certain on how it
    will implement Space Force.
  • White House officials were reportedly still mulling the
    possibility of Space Force operating under the wings of the Air
    Force.
  • President Donald Trump touted the Space
    Force
    as an independent military branch in
    numerous statements and campaign speeches.

The White House does not appear to be certain on how it will
implement Space Force, President Donald Trump’s highly
anticipated sixth branch of the military, and was still mulling
the possibility of it operating under the wings of the Air Force,
according to memos reviewed by
Defense One
.

As recently as October 26, the White House reportedly asked the
Pentagon for its expertise in the “organizational construct to
meet [the President’s] intent” and asked for alternative
recommendations for the Space Force’s structure — despite Trump
touting it as an independent military branch in numerous
statements and campaign speeches.

In the memo, White House officials solicited advice on whether
the US military was “best served” if the Space Force remained
separate from the other naval, ground, and air branches.

But the memo threw a wrench in Trump’s numerous claims about the
Space Force by asking if “the new Space Force would be most
effectively organized as a separate service within the Department
of the Air Force,” according to Defense One.Donald Trump Space Force Executive OrderPresident
Donald Trump signs an executive order to establish the Space
Force.
Alex
Wong/Getty Images

“We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the
Space Force: separate but equal,” Trump said at a National Space
Council meeting in June.

Defense officials have reportedly come up with several plans on
how to implement a “distinct branch of the Armed Forces for
Space.”

These plans ranged from a space-focused corps under the Air
Force’s purview, to an independent Space Force that includes Air
Force, Army, Navy, and intelligence community assets, according
to a defense official cited in the report.

The possibility of housing a potential Space Corps under the Air
Force — similar to how the Marine Corps and Navy operates — was
previously proposed by Congress as part of its annual national
defense policy bill. The provision in the National Defense
Authorization Act was later shot down in 2017 and 2018 — a result
the White House has taken into account in asking the Pentagon for
suggestions, military officials told Defense One.

The memo reportedly did not explicitly mention a Space Corps.

The question of establishing an autonomous Space Force has
divided many in the Defense Department and White House. While
military experts generally agree that adversaries like China and
Russia pose a threat to the US in space, not all are convinced
and point to the Space Force or Space Corps’ potential
cost
.

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