As the Pentagon works to fulfill President Donald Trump’s desire to create a sixth service branch, a former secretary of the Air Force warned which a “space force” would likely worsen problems plaguing the U.S. military’s space efforts.
“the item will be a virtual certainty which the item [a space force] will be a huge undertaking which will consume a lot of time, effort, thinking,” Deborah Lee James, 23rd secretary of the Air Force as well as principal defense space advisor for the Obama administration, said at the Brookings Institution on Monday.
“I do not believe we should have a separate space force,” she added noting which the potential sixth service will be a distraction to pressing U.S. national security matters.
“The myriad of details which people joke about, the academies, the uniforms as well as what not, those may seem trivial yet they are details which need to be worked out,” James said raising concerns which the proposed space force will be buried in bureaucratic minutiae.
What’s more, James also explained which the formation of a sixth military branch will “zap resources away which could otherwise go to capabilities.”
In lieu of Trump’s proposed space force, James recommended which the president consider the establishment of a brand new functional combatant command similar to U.S. Strategic Command which would likely be solely focused on space.
James shared which the Pentagon’s top brass will be also hesitant to form a brand new military branch. “None of them are in favor of a space force yet they are stuck,” she said. “The president has said the item as well as the item will be interesting to see how they today deal with the item.”
Read more: What Trump’s ‘Space Force’ might look like – as well as when the item would likely be ready
When asked how expensive a brand new service branch will cost, James noted which the item will be certainly something which cannot be properly established without a significant investment.
“I do not know how much the item would likely cost to set up a separate military service yet if anyone thinks you’re going to do the item on the cheap I will tell you which I’ve never seen anything like This particular done on the cheap. So, No. 1, the item will cost more than what they predict,” James said.
Trump’s sprint to develop a space force became apparent during an emphatic June 18 speech to the National Space Council. He announced his wish for the Pentagon to create a brand new sister service branch to stand alongside the Army, Air Force, Navy as well as Marine Corps.
“I am hereby directing the Department of Defense as well as Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” Trump said before asking Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, to see the directive through.
“Our destiny beyond the Earth will be not only a matter of national identity yet a matter of national security,” Trump said.