The Trump administration plans to launch the United States Space Force (USSF), the nation's sixth military branch, by 2020, Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech at the National Space Council on Tuesday, agencies reported.
The proposed launch of the USSF has led to fears of space becoming the next battleground and testing field for advanced weaponry. Already, China and Russia are ramping up weapons to be used in space in response to what they call are US attempts to militarize space.
A new budget in early 2019 will carve out funds for the USSF in the National Defense Authorization Act, said Pence. The USSF will include a new space combatant command to establish a chain of command for the new branch once the next budget and NDAA have been passed by Congress.
"We will forge a new era of peace through strength in outer space," Pence said adding, “space is a war fighting domain, just like the air, land and sea, and America will be just as dominant there as we are here on earth," UPI quoted Pence as saying.
Russia has linked the proposed formation of the US Space Force and its intended withdrawal from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty to the Trump administration’s intention to dominate space.
"The American side, especially with the arrival of the Trump’s administration, has embarked on a course for total domination in outer space, just like in other areas," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in comments quoted by TASS in response to statements of US Vice President Mike Pence, who earlier spoke of US dominance of space.