Trump's teased 'Space Force' could be an attempt to counter Russia and China

  • President Donald Trump suggested creating a branch of the military for space during an appearance in San Diego, California, on Tuesday.
  • "My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain just like the land, air and sea," Trump said at Miramar Air Station. "We may even have a Space Force."
  • While Trump appears to have wandered into the issue in his Tuesday speech, the idea is not new. It was proposed by the Congressional Strategic Forces Subcommittee last July. The idea never got off the ground.


While speaking to US Marines in San Diego on Tuesday, President Donald Trump suggested creating a branch of the military for space. 

"My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain just like the land, air and sea," Trump said at Miramar Air Station. "We may even have a Space Force." 

"You know, I was saying it the other day cause we're doing a tremendous amount of work in space," Trump said. "I said 'maybe we need a new force, we'll call it the space force.' And I was not really serious, and then I said 'what a great idea, maybe we'll have to do that.'"

"That could happen, that could be the big breaking story," Trump said. "Look at all those people back there," Trump said, pointing to the media in the background. "Look at them...Ohhhh, that fake news."

While Trump appears to have wandered into the issue in his Tuesday speech, the idea is not new.

RELATED: Last year's most astonishing space moments

15 PHOTOS
Astonishing space moments of 2017
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Astonishing space moments of 2017
REFILE - CORRECTING HOW PHOTO WAS TAKEN A composite image of 21 separate photographs taken with a single fixed camera shows the solar eclipse as it creates the effect of a diamond ring at totality as seen from Clingmans Dome, which at 6,643 feet (2,025m) is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, U.S. August 21, 2017. Location coordinates for this image are 35�33'24" N, 83�29'46" W. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Enthusiasts Tanner Person (R) and Josh Blink, both from Vacaville, California, watch a total solar eclipse while standing atop Carroll Rim Trail at Painted Hills, a unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, near Mitchell, Oregon, U.S. August 21, 2017. Location coordinates for this image is near 44�39'117'' N 120�6'042'' W. REUTERS/Adrees Latif TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A jet plane flies by the total solar eclipse in Guernsey, Wyoming U.S. August 21, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A total solar eclipse occurs on August 21, 2017, at Mary's River Covered Bridge, in Chester, IL, USA. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The total solar eclipse Monday August 21, 2017 in Madras, Oregon. Emotional sky-gazers stood transfixed across North America Monday as the Sun vanished behind the Moon in a rare total eclipse that swept the continent coast-to-coast for the first time in nearly a century. / AFP PHOTO / ROB KERR (Photo credit should read ROB KERR/AFP/Getty Images)
ROXBURY, NJ - AUGUST 21: The Moon is seen passing in front of the Sun during a Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017 at Roxbury High School in Roxbury, NJ. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
People watch the total solar eclipse in Guernsey, Wyoming U.S. August 21, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Cheerleaders use solar viewing glasses before welcoming guests to the football stadium to watch the total solar eclipse at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, U.S., August 21, 2017. Location coordinates for this image are 37�42'25" N 89�13'10" W. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Guests watch the sun re-emerge after a total eclipse at the football stadium at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, U.S., August 21, 2017. Location coordinates for this image are 37�42'25" N 89�13'10" W. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
One of the last looks at Saturn and its main rings as captured by Cassini. When the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004, the planet's northern hemisphere, seen here at top, was in darkness in winter. Now at journey's end, the entire north pole is bathed in sunlight of summer. Images taken October 28, 2016 and released September 11, 2017. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
Cassini team members embrace after the spacecraft was deliberately plunged into Saturn, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, U.S., September 15, 2017. NASA/Joel Kowsky/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.??
The spacecraft Cassini is pictured above Saturn's northern hemisphere prior to making one of its Grand Finale dives in this NASA handout illustration obtained by Reuters August 29, 2017. NASA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
An illustration released by NASA on October 16, 2017 shows a hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris from two neutron stars before they collided. The image was released to mark the first time scientists detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event, from two merging neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. NASA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
The collision of two black holes - a tremendously powerful event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO - is seen in this still image from a computer simulation released in Washington February 11, 2016. Scientists have for the first time detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesized by Albert Einstein a century ago, in a landmark discovery announced on Thursday that opens a new window for studying the cosmos. REUTERS/The SXS (Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes)/Handout via Reuters FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2017 -- Jo van den Brand, spokesperson of the Virgo collaboration, speaks at a news conference about the update on the search for gravitational waves in Washington D.C., the United States, on Oct. 16, 2017. Scientists announced Monday that they have for the first time detected the ripples in space and time known as gravitational waves as well as light from a spectacular collision of two neutron stars. The detection of the gravitational wave signal, called GW170817, was made at 8:41 a.m. EDT (1241 GMT) on August 17 by twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images)
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The Congressional Strategic Forces Subcommittee even proposed creating such a branch last July, which they called Space Corps. But the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that passed last November actually banned it.  

The proposed Space Corps would have fallen under the Air Force branch. 

Republican Mike Rogers, the chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, however, said in February that he expects such a force to be built in three to five years, according to Defense News. 

Supporters of the Space Corps have argued that it's needed to counter Russia and China's desire to build anti-satellite weaponry.

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