According to Press TV, Trump said at the White House before a meeting of his National Space Council “It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.”
He said that the American dominance of space would bolster the country’s national security and the economy with the creation of new jobs.
Trump also claimed that the United States would “return Americans to the Moon” and would eventually send people to Mars.
“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” he announced.
“We are going to have the Air Force and we’re going to have the ‘Space Force.’ Separate but equal,” he said later. “It is going to be something. So important.”
Trump made the announcement despite the fact that the United States is a member of the Outer Space Treaty, formally known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.
The Outer Space Treaty prohibits the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in space and only allows for the use of the moon and other celestial bodies for peaceful purposes.
Trump said he does not want “China and Russia and other countries leading us” in space and that he wants to revive America’s flagging space program.
He described space as a national security issue and said he would be directing American federal agencies to “implement a state-of-the-art framework for space traffic management.”
An expert of comparative military studies said recently that space was opening up as a new frontier in the fight for power between the United States, Russia and China.