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Pence launches Space Force, says U.S. needs to prepare for ‘next battlefield’

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday laid out details for President Donald Trump’s proposed new branch of the U.S. military — responsible for protecting national security in outer space.

In a speech at the Pentagon, Pence said the new Space Force would be established by 2020.

“As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space — we must have American dominance in space. And so we will,” Pence said. “Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea.”

He added, “History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead.”

If it happens, the Space Force would become the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, equal to the other five, Pence said.

The Department of Defense released a 15-page report Thursday laying out the phases of creating the new branch, which will ultimately need to be approved by Congress.

The report said that the Pentagon would “usher in a new age of space technology” in order “to deter and if necessary degrade, deny, disrupt, destroy, and manipulate adversary capabilities to protect U.S. interests, assets, and way of life.”

Pence highlighted efforts by countries such as Russia and China, which have bolstered efforts to develop space weapons and technology, and argued the U.S. must exceed their efforts to have dominance in space.

“As their actions make clear, our adversaries have transformed space into a war-fighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge,” Pence said.

The technology and weaponry highlighted by Pence and in the Defense Department report include anti-satellite weapons, which could disable or destroy satellites, technology to jam military communications, and the enhancement of radar and GPS capabilities. Read more

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Pence launches Space Force, says U.S. needs to prepare for ‘next battlefield’