Trump's Space Force has stirred plenty of controversy and debate since the President first publicly entertained the idea during a speech in March 2018, when he told us service members that his "new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea".
"We need to address space as a developing war fighting domain and a combatant command is certainly one thing that we can - we can establish", Mattis told reporters.
President Donald Trump's re-election team seized on his administration's push for a "Space Force" on Thursday, pledging to sell branded merchandise to his supporters. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed plans to reorganize the military's space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive separate new service.
In just two years the United States plans to have a new military programme geared towards space.
But, earlier this week, Mr Mattissaid he is in "complete alignment" with Mr Trump's concerns about USA space assets. "And the United States will not shrink from this challenge", he said.
Pence portrayed the change as a response to foes' potential aggression rather than any offensive US military effort.
The Trump administration aims to have the Space Force up and running by 2020, Pence said.
The vast U.S. military divides the globe into various commands, such as Central Command in the Middle East or Indo-Pacific Command in Asia, and so a new Space Command would be on an equal footing with these.
Mr. Pence said the administration already is working with Congress on the issue.
To establish the sixth branch, the White House would need the approval of Congress.
Russian and China have made significant advancements, challenging the United States' assets in space.
"The time has come to establish the United States Space Force", he said, repeating Trump's call for Congress to invest an additional US$8 billion in U.S. space security systems over the next five years.
"Peace only comes through strength", Pence said.
The Pentagon proposal delivered to Congress Thursday lays out plans to consolidate the Pentagon's war-fighting space forces and make organizational changes to boost the acquisition and development of leading edge technologies. Last year, Defense Secretary James Mattis argued against the creation of what was then called a "Space Corps" because of budget concerns and undesirable bureaucracy.
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