Speed Reads

star wars

The Pentagon isn't waiting for Congress to start building Trump's Space Force

President Trump's enthusiastic calls for the U.S. to launch some sort of military Space Force got a mixed response in Congress and the Pentagon, but the Defense Department will give him much of what he wants by the end of 2018, with or without Congress, Defense One reported Monday. The Space Force plan, drawn up largely by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and to be presented to lawmakers Wednesday, does envision creating an 11th unified combatant command, the four-star U.S. Space Command, similar to the command overseeing special forces, but mostly the draft proposal deals with buying and launching satellites — more Death Star than Storm Troopers. Defense One explains:

In coming months, Defense Department leaders plan to stand up three of the four components of the new Space Force: a new combatant command for space, a new joint agency to buy satellites for the military, and a new warfighting community that draws space operators from all service branches. These sweeping changes — on par with the past decade's establishment of cyber forces — are the part the Pentagon can do without lawmakers' approval. Creating the fourth component — services and support functions such as financial management and facilities construction — will require congressional action. [Defense One]

The biggest loser in the draft plan is the Air Force, especially the Air Force Space Command and its Space and Missile Systems Center. "Air Force officials were largely cut out of the review process several weeks ago," Defense One reports, citing two unidentified officials. You can read more about the Space Force plan at Defense One.