Russia says US plans for space force herald new arms race

Russia says US plans for space force herald new arms race

President Trump announced Monday that he would direct the military to create a sixth branch of the armed forces aimed at dominating outer space. "We must have American dominance in space", Mr Trump said at the White House.

Russian outside service Maria Zakharova said at a preparation that Russia "noticed the USA president's directions... to isolate space powers from the aviation based armed forces", saying "the most disturbing thing about this news is the point of his guidelines, to be specific to guarantee (US) mastery in space".

Twitter shared a wealth of reactions to creation of a Space Force, most told in jest to the new potential branch of the military. However, the proposal was met with criticism from the Pentagon, the Air Force, and high-ranking military officials including Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Turning to seek out Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Trump said, "General Dunford, if you would carry that assignment out, I would be very greatly honored also ..."

If the purported "Space Force" plan comes to reality, it would become the sixth branch of the American military.

"There's still remnants of common sense in the American political elite", Bondarev said.

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This week, however, President Trump directed the Pentagon to create his new Space Force.

And in a Monday tweet, Kelly pointed out that patrolling space is already the job of the Air Force. Congress would have to pass legislation to authorize a new branch of the military fully compatible with the authorizations of existing military structures.

"Russia takes a fundamentally different position and attaches priority to using and exploring space exclusively for peaceful purposes", Zakharova said.

Trump also vowed to soon return the United States to the moon and to reach Mars. Protecting those space-based assets also is critical given the development of anti-satellite weapons by China and Russian Federation. Even those two countries, if they would obtain relevant space capabilities, would be extremely risky, as a war in space would nearly inevitably lead to the destruction of satellites and the creation of debris that would remain in orbit for decades.

"My administration is reclaiming America's heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation", he went on. "We do not want this to be "Lucy and the football" again". As the Pentagon noted in its response, this foray into the final frontier is going to take a long, long time to set up.

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