Trump Weighs Creating a ‘Space Force’

President Donald Trump said he is weighing the creation of a sixth branch of the military, a space force, “because we’re getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons.” Trump made the comment May 1, while speaking to the U.S. Military Academy’s Black Knights football team at the White House. Trump previously floated the idea in March, when he told troops at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego that “my new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea.” Currently, the Air Force’s Space Command is responsible for elements of military activities related to space and cyberspace.

Military activities are constrained by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in outer space, prohibits military activities on celestial bodies, and details legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space. The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution annually urging all states to refrain from actions contrary to the peaceful use of outer space and calling for negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament on a multilateral agreement to prevent an arms race in outer space.—TERRY ATLAS