US President says SpaceCom will defend US’s interests in space while describing space as ‘the next war-fighting domain’
On Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced the establishment of US Space Command, addressing what his administration believes are looming threats to the United States’s space-based infrastructure.
While speaking at a White House ceremony, President Trump described space as “the next war-fighting domain” and that a space fleet is essential for defending the country’s vital space interests.
Trump said, “Now, those who wish to harm the United States, who seek to challenge us in the ultimate high ground of space. It’s going to be a whole different ballgame, our adversaries are weaponizing earth’s orbits with new technology targeting American satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home.”
In February, The Defence Intelligence Agency wrote in an unclassified report that countries like Russia and China are developing direct energy weapons, cyberspace and jamming capabilities, on-orbit capabilities, and land-based anti-satellite missiles that can achieve a range of irreversible and reversible effects.
The newly inaugurated Space Command or “SpaceCom”, will be US’s 11th regional fighting command and will be responsible for bringing together many of the space assets, information, and skills from all US military branches and have them work under one roof.
SpaceCom, as described by the administration, would be the first step in an ambitious five-year plan to establish the Space Force – a new sixth branch of the US armed forces.The Department of Defence will start a phased process to establish the command once Space Force gets the green light from the US Congress.Morgan Stanley, an American multinational investment bank and financial services company currently estimates the global space industry to have annual revenues of roughly $350bn but would have a lot to lose if the freedom to go and operate in space were disrupted by hostile activities.
Loss of a single Satellite from debris or meteoroids can set companies back by hundreds of millions of dollars and also cost a lot of jobs, thus making it a very risky venture.“We welcome the Administration’s focus on space issues and space threats, including today’s official launch of Space Command,” said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).