- Gary Cameron/Reuters
- President Donald Trump’s call for the Department of Defense to create a new branch of the military, dubbed the “Space Force,” continues to face skepticism from both former and current military officials.
- The latest example came from former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey on Friday, who claimed Trump “raffled off” the Space Force.
- The establishment of a new military branch requires congressional approval.
- Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday delivered a speech at the Pentagon outlining the administration’s plan to move forward with the Space Force.
President Donald Trump’s call for the Department of Defense to create a new branch of the military dubbed the “Space Force” continues to face opposition from former and current military officials.
The latest example came from former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, who on Friday said Trump essentially “raffled off” the Space Force and called on Congress “sort this out.”
“71 years ago today, the Department of Defense was established after extensive study with a clear mission codified in legislation,” Dempsey tweeted. “Yesterday, the Space Force was raffled off. However, the Congress is responsible for ‘raising and sustaining’ the military. They must sort this out.”
The establishment of a new military branch requires congressional approval. Last November, lawmakers shot down a proposal for a “Space Force,” and Trump’s new pet project could face continued legislative uncertainty.
Dempsey is hardly the only military figure to exhibit skepticism surrounding the Space Force, as even Defense Secretary James Mattis has expressed reservations.
Last year, Mattis wrote a memo to Republican Sen. John McCain that said he opposed “the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions.”
Mattis has apparently become more amenable to the idea in recent weeks, but other senior military officials have pushed back on the idea over concerns about the overall cost and effect on current military branches already performing space missions.
When Trump announced in June that he was calling on the Pentagon to create the Space Force, it reportedly caught many military officials by surprise.
But the Trump administration is moving full steam ahead with its plans for a sixth military branch.
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday delivered a speech at the Pentagon outlining the administration’s plan to move forward with the Space Force, which including instructions for the Department of Defense to draft a legislative proposal for Congress.
“The time has come to establish the United States Space Force,” Pence said.
“Our administration will soon take action to implement these recommendations with the objective of establishing the United States Department of the Space Force by the year 2020,” Pence added.