16:15 GMT25 February 2020
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    The US president earlier announced the creation of a new and separate military branch, called the Space Force, which will be dedicated to waging possible warfare in space, whilst at the moment this falls under the remit of the US Air Force.

    NATO is planning to announce space as a new "domain of warfare" during a meeting of the member-states' heads in December 2019 in London, Reuters reported citing four anonymous senior diplomats. According to them, this doesn't mean the alliance will immediately start deploying space weapons capable of downing enemy satellites or targeting ground-based offensive and defensive targets, rather, it will start a debate on the issue.

    However, according to one of the diplomats, the main goal of the announcement is not to address the new challenges in space. Instead, it is in fact "a gift to Trump", following the latter's criticism of NATO and pessimism regarding the alliance's use. The alliance opening a new space front could reportedly captivate Trump's interest, as NATO will then be capable of helping the US in "deterring" China and possibly Russia in space.

    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the start of the NATO summit at their new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium
    © REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the start of the NATO summit at their new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

    The reports follow Trump's announcement of the creation of a new US military branch, called the Space Force. It will reportedly take on some of the roles currently covered by US Air Force, regarding threats coming from space and the deployment of certain military equipment into the Earth's orbit.

    Trump hit out at NATO-states for failing to reach the non-mandatory guidelines, set in in 2014, that suggest spending 2% of the country's GDP on defence. The US president complained that Washington bears the brunt of the burden in the alliance, while others underperform.

    During the emergency alliance session in July 2018 the US president managed to convince other NATO member-states to reach their 2% GDP spending commitments, although some of them will be achieving it gradually. Trump reportedly threatened them the bloc with a US withdrawal from the alliance if his demands are not met ahead of the session.


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    US Space Force (USSF), Donald Trump, NATO, US
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