Securing Orbit: Countdown to a Space Corps?

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President Trump on Monday called for the creation of a new Space Force to be designated as an independent, sixth branch of the U.S. military.  Just a few months ago, The Cipher Brief polled our experts with deep knowledge of the issue.  Former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James was not in favor – nor was she alone.  Her view was shared by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who was among the critics who cited a host of reasons, including inefficiencies of creating new organizational layers, increased costs and a lack of integration as reasons to keep the space capabilities under the structure of the Air Force Space Command.  But supporters of the concept, including Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) argue that the United States has lost its competitive advantage in space, and we need the innovation and specific focus of a dedicated space capability to get it back.

Here’s a closer look at what those high-level concerns were just a few months ago:

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