President Donald Trump’s enthusiasm for a new military branch focused on space is apparently not widely shared. Two polls released today show that a majority—and in one poll, a plurality—of respondents said that the Space Force is a bad idea.
The Trump administration plans to cleave Space Force from the Air Force and have it largely in place by 2020. The first step would be to create US Space Command—a joint command within the Pentagon similar to the Joint Special Operations Command and US Cyber Command that would oversee space operations of all the services—by the end of 2018. The Pentagon will also create a Space Development Agency that will pull military space research, development, and procurement out of the Defense Department’s current acquisition system. The agency’s goal would be accelerating the development of new space stuff.
The Space Force plan has been widely derided, though some members of Congress have previously voiced support for creating a space-focused branch. Concerns about anti-satellite technology being developed by Russia and China—and the perception that the Air Force is not focused enough on the space portion of its mission, which is under the Air Force Space Command—have driven some support for creation of a separate force. There have been similar discussions about creating a US cyber force as well, though those discussions have gotten significant pushback from the service branches.