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Trump Announces Reestablishment of Space Command

The United States just took a major step in the militarization of space.

Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland in 2011. (Image Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland in 2011. (Image Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday afternoon the reestablishment of a separate military command for space. In a speech delivered on the South Lawn of the White House, Trump described space as “the next warfighting domain” and said that “our adversaries are weaponizing earth’s orbits” targeting U.S. satellites and challenging its freedom to operate in space. Trump also announced plans to create a new military branch, the Space Force, which will require congressional approval. It will be an uphill task.

The command will be led by General John W. Raymond of the U.S. Air Force, and present commander of the Air Force Space Command.

The original U.S. Space Command was established in 1985 and folded into the U.S. Strategic Command in 2002. The reestablishment of the U.S. Space Command has been anticipated for some time and follows similar moves by other space powers. In June, India established a Defense Space Research Agency that is expected to eventually assume command of the space assets of the three military services. And in July, France established its own space command.

Arif Rafiq is the editor of Globely News and host of The Pivot podcast. He's contributed to publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New Republic, and POLITICO Magazine, and has appeared on broadcast outlets such as Al Jazeera English, the BBC World Service, CNN International, and National Public Radio. Rafiq is also a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC.

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