Vice President Pence called Thursday for America to assert its dominance in space as he made a direct appeal to the Pentagon for a sixth military branch serving this purpose — and revealed the Trump administration wants to create the “Space Force” by 2020.
In a speech to the Defense Department, he said that countries such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran are pursuing ways to “bring new weapons of war into space itself.”
“As their actions make clear, our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already and the United States will not shrink from this challenge,” he said. “Under President Trump’s leadership, we will meet it head on — to defend our nation, and build a peaceful future here on Earth and in space.”
Trump said last week that he had ordered the Pentagon to begin the process of creating a Space Force as a new branch of the military.
Pence said on Thursday that it was an idea “whose time had come” and made clear that the White House wants to get on with the project as soon as possible. He hailed a new report by the Pentagon on the force as a starting point.
“President Trump and I are grateful to Secretary Mattis for this department’s diligence in preparing this report, and our administration will soon take action to implement these recommendations, with the objective of establishing the United States Department of the Space Force by 2020,” he said.