Trump to deliver plan for US space force in Missile Defense Review

Talal Husseini 17 January 2019 (Last Updated January 17th, 2019 13:05)

US President Donald Trump is set to deliver his plan for a new missile defence system, which uses space-based sensors and interceptors to detect threats from enemy states.

Trump to deliver plan for US space force in Missile Defense Review
The US president Donald Trump will present his long-delayed Missile Defense Review to the Pentagon, which includes provisions for a US ‘space force’. Credit: Kevin Gill.

US President Donald Trump is set to deliver his plan for a new missile defence system, which uses space-based sensors and interceptors to detect threats from enemy states, as well as provisions for a US space force.

The commander-in-chief will present today at 12.30pm (EST) the long-awaited missile defence review to the Pentagon.

Speaking to reporters before the official release of the Missile Defense Review, a spokesperson for the Trump Administration said: “What the Missile Defense Review responds to is an environment in which our potential adversaries have been rapidly developing, and fielding, a much more expanded range of new offensive missiles.

“These missiles are capable of threatening the United States, threatening our allies, our partners, and our US forces abroad.”

"What the Missile Defense Review responds to is an environment in which our potential adversaries have been rapidly developing, and fielding, a much more expanded range of new offensive missiles."

In the report, the president states the need for an expansion of US space sensors and interceptions designed to target and destroy missiles from states such as Iran and North Korea.

Trump is also likely to present his plan for a new US space force.  “Space is a very important point of emphasis for the president, the vice president and the missile defence review,” said the official.

“It is something that we want to invest in…Space is the key to the next step of missile defence.”

While the report would look to establish the concept of additional space sensors and interceptors, the official said before the launch of the review that there had been no “concrete decision” on whether it will be deployed any time soon.

US space force a good move

Furthermore, the official insisted that the move to militarise space as part of a new space force is not a warning for Russia and China, two countries with which the US would like to maintain good diplomatic relations.

“With respect to relations with Russia and China, the president relies on having good relations with the leaders of those countries,” said the official.

“Our defence capabilities are purely defensive. The United States has been very transparent in the development of its missile defence capabilities, about what they are postured to defend against and our missile defence capabilities are primarily postured to stay ahead of rogue state threats.”

In June 2018, PoliSpace founder of space policy consultancy and former White House policy adviser said that an independent space force is the right move.

He told Verdict: “Many other countries already use space militarily and have already demonstrated anti-space weapons capabilities.

“Space isn’t a sanctuary and it never has been. What we need to ensure is that no one takes weapons of mass destruction into space.”