The Pentagon is moving ahead with President Trump’s call to establish a “Space Force” as a potential sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces, with top officials scrambling to tamp down reports of disagreement between military leaders and the White House ahead of a high-profile speech Thursday by Vice President Mike Pence.
Mr. Pence, the administration’s liaison with the Defense Department on the coming Space Force, will address reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday and is expected to formally release an internal military review of what it will take to create the new command.
But analysts and former military officials say the concept of a formal Space Force and the push to establish it quickly are being driven almost entirely by the White House and its allies on Capitol Hill, and that a skeptical Pentagon is grudgingly going along with the plan amid political pressure from the other side of the Potomac.
Indeed, insiders say the fact that the Pentagon delayed its long-awaited study on setting up a Space Force — initially scheduled to be released last week — could be evidence of behind-the-scenes dissension between military leaders and political officials inside the Trump administration. More broadly, specialists argue the entire concept of a Space Force as a wholly separate branch of the military is one that many Defense Department officials privately don’t support, but that they’re being strong-armed by an administration eager to make a lasting mark on U.S. military doctrine and to further cement American dominance in space.
One reason for the resistance — a fear the Space Force will take resources and budget dollars away from existing service branches and dilute their operational authority. For the Air Force, the realignment could mean surrendering control of existing space assets, satellites, launch sites and other ground operations to the new command. Parts of the other services would be shifted as well. (Read more from “Trump’s ‘Space Force’ Meeting Resistance in Pentagon” HERE)