White House presses forward with Trump's Space Command

By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's planned U.S. Space Command should seek to develop ways for the country's military to operate in outer space, White House advisers recommended on Tuesday, with the government hoping to secure approval for it by 2020

Reuters October 25, 2018 05:06:13 IST
White House presses forward with Trump's Space Command

White House presses forward with Trumps Space Command

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's planned U.S. Space Command should seek to develop ways for the country's military to operate in outer space, White House advisers recommended on Tuesday, with the government hoping to secure approval for it by 2020.

The National Space Council, a White House advisory panel, recommended a review of existing legal issues for military space operations and unveiled proposed legislation for Congress to create and fund a separate space agency to oversee commercial activities.

The council's recommendations were made at a meeting on Tuesday at the National Defense University in Washington.

Speaking at the meeting, Vice President Mike Pence said the White House will include funding for the Space Command in the budget proposal next year, with the goal of getting approval from Congress so it can be in place by 2020.

Pence said the National Space Council and National Security Council will review space operational authorities "to ensure that our warfighters have the freedom and flexibility they need to deter and defeat any threat to our security in the rapidly evolving battlefield of space."

A lack of centralized leadership and accountability threatened U.S. ability to "advance our national security in space," Pence said. "The time has come to stop studying the problem and start fixing it."

The Trump administration in August announced an ambitious plan to usher in a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military by 2020. Such a change, which the Defense Department has estimated would cost $13 billon in the first five years, must first be approved by Congress.

Pence said at an earlier Washington Post forum that China and Russia have established similar space forces. "This is what our competitors are already doing. And the president is determined to make sure that America leads in space, as well, from a military standpoint," he said.

Critics, including some Democratic lawmakers, have said the creation of Space Command is an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavour that would simply shift work already being done well by other services like the Air Force.

The proposed bill would also create the Bureau of Space Commerce under the U.S. Department of Commerce to liaise with industry representatives and organizations, according to a copy provided to Reuters. It also calls for $10 million per year for five years starting in 2020 to fund the commerce arm.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; writing by Susan Heavey; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O'Brien)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.