Some Congressional Republicans are growing concerned that the US is lagging behind when it comes to outer space. These lawmakers are worried that the US is losing in space to the Russians and the Chinese. To address that concern, these representatives have proposed the creation of a military space corps.
While it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, the space corps would not be concerned with extraterrestrial enemies but would focus on more traditional adversaries’ use of technology and space programs.
Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL) is chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subcommittee, Rogers said, “We have very real risks to Russia and China in space, and warfighting has become absolutely dependent on space.”
The Space Corps would be under the Department of the Air Force. The corps would have an independent budget and its own chief of staff that would be a part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The purpose of the Space Corps would be,
“protecting the interests of the United States in space; deterring aggression in, from, and through space; providing combat-ready space forces that enable the commanders of the combatant commands to fight and win wars; organizing, training, and equipping space forces; and conducting space operations of the Space Corps under the command of the Commander of the United States Space Command.”
There is not unanimous support even among Republicans about the proposal. The Trump administration is opposed to the plan, as are some House Republicans. Representative Michael Turner (R-OH) has been a vocal opponent of the plan, calling for Congress to slow down and study the issue.
Turner said, “Restructuring the bureaucracy to the grave extent of creating another service branch is extreme. For the House itself and for the enormity of this task, there’s a lot more work that needs to be done for us as a body to deliberate and undertake this.”
President Trump’s Defense Secretary James Mattis joined in Turner’s concerns in a letter saying, “I share congressional concerns about the organization and management of the department’s space capabilities. The creation of an independent Space Corps, with the corresponding institutional growth and budget implications, does not address the specific concerns nor our nation’s fiscal problems in a responsive manner.”