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Behind Trump's Call To Launch A Space Force48:20
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Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, listens during the National Space Council meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 18, 2018. President Donald Trump has tasked the Defense Department to begin the process of establishing the 'Space Force' as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces. He said the new branch's creation will be overseen by Dunford. (Susan Walsh/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, listens during the National Space Council meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 18, 2018. President Donald Trump has tasked the Defense Department to begin the process of establishing the 'Space Force' as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces. He said the new branch's creation will be overseen by Dunford. (Susan Walsh/AP)

With Jane Clayson

The president’s call for a new military command focused on future battles in outer space. We’ll look at the new Space Force.

Guests:

Patrick Tucker, technology editor for Defense One. (@DefTechPat)

Joan Johnson-Freese, professor of National Security Affairs and The Charles Bolden, Jr. Chair of Science, Space and Technology at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. (@JohnsonFreese)

Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. (@ToddHarrisonDC)

Mike Rogers, Republican congressman serving Alabama’s 3rd District. Chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. (@RepMikeRogersAL)

From The Reading List:

Center For Strategic And International Studies: "Space Threat Assessment 2018"

The Atlantic: "How Exactly Do You Establish a Space Force?" — "Trump has been talking about establishing a new military branch for space for several months now. The proposed branch would assume the responsibility for military space operations, which currently fall under the purview of the Air Force and some other agencies. The concept usually comes up when the president’s eyes stray from the teleprompter and he starts ad-libbing. He’s even described it as something that came to mind quite suddenly. 'I was saying it the other day—’cause we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space—I said, maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the Space Force,' Trump said during a speech in March. 'And I was not really serious. And then I said, what a great idea. Maybe we’ll have to do that. That could happen.'

It’s not clear whether Trump’s military advisers will actually establish what would be the newest military branch in about 70 years. But if they did, how would they do it?"

The heavens above are already a pretty busy piece of real estate. Over a thousand active satellites that are absolutely key to modern living down here on the planet. And key to modern warfare too. Today, the job of protecting American assets belongs to the U.S. Air Force. Some say space needs its own specialized defense force. And on Monday, the president heard their call and ordered up a whole new branch of the military.

This hour, On Point: The president’s call for a new space force.

- Jane Clayson

This program aired on June 20, 2018.

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