Pence leaves open possible use of nuclear arms in space

White House to press forward with Trump's Space Command

National Space Council gives plan on Space Force

The space force will be designed "to ensure that our war fighters have the freedom and flexibility they need to deter and defeat any threat to our security in the rapidly evolving battlefield of space", he said.

Pence further said that the question of nuclear weapons is "the president's determination", and that while it's in the interest of every nation to keep nukes out of space for now, at some point this may prove to be an way to show more "strength".

"It is the cost of inaction that we can't afford", he said. The administration believes, he said, the establishment of the Space Force is "central to the solution that America needs".

He named U.S. adversaries as Russian Federation and China, and said potential space threats include anti-satellite weapons, airborne lasers, 'highly threatening on-orbit activities and evasive hypersonic missiles'.

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The Trump administration in August announced an ambitious plan to usher in a new "Space Force" as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.

However, the joint Space command will be formed on the model of the already existing special operations Command, said Pence.

"That will be the project of the space force going forward".

The White House says it is pushing ahead with plans to establish a new USA space force, but the first steps will stop short of creating a sixth branch of the military as touted earlier this year by President Donald Trump.

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"Let's begin by bringing everyone under a unified command", he said, adding that he would also like to see a Space Development Agency tasked with new technologies.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty outlawed weapons of mass destruction from space, including nuclear weapons, and stopped the arms race between the USA and the former Soviet Union from entering space.

Pence said the Trump administration was already working closely with congressional leaders on "both sides of the Capitol building" to include funding for the Space Force in next year's defense budget. The US President promised to return the United States to the moon and to reach Mars.

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