While many laughed off President Donald Trump’s proposal for a new military branch — the Space Force — bipartisan support for the idea is on the rise.
At a conference hosted by Defense News in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who previously opposed the proposal, said she wants to push ahead and avoid any “half-measures.”
“There is pretty strong bipartisan support for this, so I think it is going to happen. It’s a question of the details,” she said.
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), called Space Force a “good idea” at the conference Wednesday.
The House has appeared to be more willing to pursue the idea in comparison to the Senate, and the HASC could very well allocate a budget for President Trump’s new force in February. The House Armed Services Committee passed legislation last year to create a Space Corps under the Department of the Air Force, similar to the way the Marine Corps is organized under the Department of the Navy.
A Space Corps compromise would fall short of President Trump’s vision of the Space Force as a military branch equal to the Air Force, Army and Navy.
Regardless of how much President Trump pushes for the Space Force, it will require the help of Congress.
“None of this can happen without the Congress’ involvement obviously. But if we’re going to do this let’s propose to do it right, let’s have this debate, support the president’s proposal and put it forward, and make sure that we don’t do this with half measures,” Wilson said. “That’s probably the most important part for me.”
Wilson is right about that. If Congress really decides to put President Trump’s plan into action, there is no going back. The government cannot create a new branch of the military without fully committing. Whether they are fully committed will be determined in the coming months.