Space Force: Lost in Space?

President Trump’s directive to the Defense Department to do more to deal with military threats in space should not come as a surprise. For those of us who missed it among the usual rush of news emanating from the White House, this directive—whose plans were unveiled by Vice President Mike Pence on August 9 during a speech at the Pentagon—concerns the creation of a $8 billion proposed “Space Force” which would be a entirely new branch of the military. It is not clear what, exactly, the new force would do, nor even where he would get the authority to establish it; as Jonathan Turley, a professor at Georgetown University’s law school, told Defense News: “Congress alone has the power to establish a new branch of the military and to establish the positions of senior executive officials to lead such a department.”

This article was originally published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.