China warned Tuesday that the creation of a Space Force would lead to a military competition in outer space.
“Outer space is an asset shared by all mankind. China always advocates the peaceful use of outer space and opposes the placement of weapons and an arms race in outer space,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. “In particular, we oppose turning outer space into a battlefield.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 19, 2018
Trump said on Monday that he is “directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces”.
“Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security,” he added.
The Fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill does not establish a Space Force, but does require a review of national security for space.
This is not the first time Trump has suggested a Space Force, but it is the first time he has ordered that one be established.
President Trump in May had announced that his administration was “seriously thinking” of adding a sixth branch to the United States military called the “Space Force.”
The President previously floated the idea back in March.
“We are actually thinking of a sixth, and that would be the Space Force,” Trump had said.
“We are getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons, and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force,” Trump added.
On March 13, the President told an audience of service members at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar that he suggested to his administration the addition of a space force offhandedly, but ultimately took the idea more seriously given the importance of national security.
“Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,” Trump told the crowd. “I said, ‘Maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force,’ and I was not really serious. Then I said, ‘What a great idea,’ maybe we’ll have to do that,” the President said.
“So think of that, Space Force,” Trump continued. “Because we are spending a lot and we have a lot of private money coming in, tremendous. You saw what happened the other day, and tremendous success. From the very beginning, many of our astronauts have been soldiers and Airmen, Coast Guard men and Marines. And our service members will be vital to ensuring America continues to lead the way into the stars.”
Much of America’s space endeavors remain privatized through the likes of SpaceX, though the administration has allotted about $20 billion for NASA through 2019.