The Pentagon is moving ahead with President Trump's call to establish a "Space Force" as a potential sixth branch of the US armed forces, with top officials scrambling to tamp down reports of disagreement between military leaders and the White House ahead of a high-profile speech Thursday by Vice President Mike Pence.
President Donald Trump's administration will call on Congress to allocate $8 billion over the next five years to establish the U.S.
But the move has faced some signs of skepticism from the Defense Department.
During his speech, Pence outlined four specific actions the Trump administration sees as the fundamental first steps in creating the Space Force.
It includes the establishment of a U.S. Space Command, a new combatant command focused on space as a warfighting domain.
The Pentagon's role in space has been under scrutiny because of a recognition that the United States is increasingly reliant on satellites that are hard to protect in space.
"Earlier this year, Gen John Hyten, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said that rather than going through the difficulty of new organizational constructs, I believe the leadership we have now can execute the missions that we need to".
"Across this department and our intelligence agencies, there are literally tens of thousands of military personnel, civilians and contractors operating and supporting our space systems - and together, they are the eyes and ears of America's warfighters around the globe", Pence said.
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We can't just beg for jobs at any price, but our members feel like they are being used as pawns right now", he said. Badawi was arrested at the end of July along with fellow Saudi women's rights activist Nassima al Sada.
According to Pence, Trump hopes to get that process started by asking for funding in his annual budget request next year. "The time has come to establish the United States Space Force".
What's changed since then is that Trump has become increasingly focused on the subject and concluded that a new military branch is needed. "We are going to have the Space Force", he said during a meeting of the National Space Council.
No Republican is willing to tell Trump it's a "dumb idea", added the lawmaker from Hawaii. "It's risky to have a leader who can not be talked out of insane ideas".
Speaking to an audience at the Pentagon, as he set out more details about the proposal, vice-president Mike Pence said: "The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces".
In a speech at the Pentagon Thursday at 11:15 a.m., Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to lay out the administration's plan.
Thursday's announcement coincided with a report detailed by the Pentagon on how the newest branch of the United States military is set to work.
"The only person that I've heard say this is a fantastic idea is the commander in chief, the president of the United States", Kelly said.
"What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial", he said.