10:02 GMT24 January 2021
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    Past US administrations could have always created a particular version of a so-called "Space Force," however, they failed to produce one either out of lacking interest or a failure to garner political support, Karl Grossman, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at Old Westbury, told Sputnik.

    "It could've always in certain ways been realized," Grossman told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Thursday. "The framework… the blueprint for weaponizing space has always been part of the thinking of the Pentagon. And one way or another, it could've been made a reality."

    ​US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visited the Pentagon on Thursday to roll out the 2019 Missile Defense Review, the first since the Obama administration's 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review.

    Aside from taking the time to throw jabs at US lawmakers over the current partial government shutdown and congratulate Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan for carrying out his job, Trump briefly spoke on space becoming a new frontier for war.

    "We will recognize that space is a new warfighting domain, with the Space Force leading the way," Trump said. "My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer technology. It's ultimately going to be a very, very big part of our defense and obviously of our offense."

    "Any missile launches from hostile powers, or even from powers that make a mistake, it won't happen, regardless of the missile type or geographic origins of the attack. We will ensure that enemy missiles find no sanctuary on Earth or in the skies above," he added.

    Grossman explained to host Brian Becker that previous US administrations, dating back to the the presidency of George H.W. Bush, could have, in some capacity, created a Space Force. Such a force was never created simply because it lacked support or interest from from US presidents.

    "Now with Trump as president and with Pence as vice president, who Trump recently made the chairman of the National Space Council, now we have the political will to do it," Grossman said, noting that the US military has always been on board with the idea of militarizing space.

    "And they've been thinking about it, planning for it for years — the US military — and now with Trump and Pence, in one way or another it can become a reality."

    According to the review, unlike the current missile warning satellites that the Pentagon has in high and geostationary Earth orbits, the new and improved satellites will be placed in lower orbits and will "enjoy a measure of flexibility of movement that is unimpeded by the constraints that geographic limitations impose on terrestrial sensors."

    Talk of creating the sixth branch of the military first surfaced in March 2018 when Trump told servicemembers at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar that he thought up the idea as a joke, saying he "was not really serious" about the project at first. Months later, in June, Trump ordered Pentagon officials to start working on space program.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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