The U.S. President's new institution is meant to defend his country's interests in the "next war-fighting domain."
U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday the creation of the “Space Command” (Spacecom), a new institution whose mission will be to protect the interests of his country in space, which is considered as a realm that the United States, China and Russia are disputing.
"It's a big deal. As the newest combatant command, SpaceCom will defend America's vital interests in space, the next war-fighting domain. And I think that's pretty obvious to everybody. It's all about space," Trump said.
The U.S. President stressed the importance of guaranteeing his country's hegemony in a territory which is critical not only for eventual military operations but also for everyday satellite-based technology.
"Our adversaries are weaponizing Earth's orbits with new technology targeting U.S. satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home. Our freedom to operate in space is also essential to detecting and destroying any missile launched against the U.S."
"Like land, sea, air and cyberspace, we now see space as a new stage of war," Trump said and announced that Air Force Gen. John Raymond will be in charge of SpaceCom, the eleventh command of the U.S. Armed Forces.
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"It is worth asking what difference there is between this new Space Command and the one that existed between 1955 and 2002; well, today's Space Command shares the name with the original, but is designed for a very different strategic environment," Raymond explained.
Besides being responsible for coordinating the Army's current five different branches, the SpaceCom is expected to have five operations centers, 287 Department of Defense members and an initial US$83.8 million budget.
The creation of this new command post is meant to be a response to "the growing threat" posed by China and Russia, which have developed tools capable of blocking communications or taking down satellites.
"There is nothing that we do that isn’t enabled by space," Raymond said and announced that the Spacecom has four strategic objectives: deter potential adversaries; defend U.S. assets in orbit; deliver GPS and other war-fighting capabilities to U.S. commands; and develop joint war fighters to be able to operate in the space domain.