During a speech before the National Space Council, the vice president declared that developing a space force is a top priority for President Donald Trump. The new military branch could be established as soon as 2020.
"It is the cost of inaction that we can't afford", he said. "It will be a consolidation, we believe, and from there, future Congresses and future administrations can grow and expand and nurture. the Space Force as they see fit", Mr Pence added.
He named USA adversaries as Russian Federation and China, and said potential space threats include anti-satellite weapons, airborne lasers, "highly threatening on-orbit activities and evasive hypersonic missiles".
"I think we have a good chance next year of officially doing our Space Force", Trump told reporters in a brief interaction during a meeting with military officials on Tuesday.
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Creating a new branch of the military would be subject to Congress' approval, but the council, led by Vice President Mike Pence, is recommending that the nation build a Space Force and structures that would usher it into existence.
"That will be the project of the space force going forward".
"What we need to do is make sure that we provide for the common defense of the people of the United States of America and that's the president's determination here", Pence said in an interview with the Washington Post.
The space force proposal has been criticized for stepping up the militarization of space, despite worldwide treaties supposedly designating space as a peaceful domain.
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The blueprint outlined by the council Tuesday also calls for review of each military branch's space-related responsibilities, development of a Defense Department organization to oversee space operations, and collaboration with Congress and US intelligence agencies.
With the help of the Congress, the United States Space Force will be created as the sixth branch of the armed forces.
In in 2015, China essentially stood up its own space force, he said.
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