Donald Trump’s given the go-ahead to start the process of establishing a sixth branch of the US armed forces
Back in March, Trump gave the world a good giggle after he floated the idea of his very own Space Force.
“We should have a new force called the Space Force,” he told Marines in San Diego, California. “It’s like the Army and the Navy, but for space, because we’re spending a lot of money on space.”
And now, in what was pretty obviously intended as a distraction from the furore over his administration’s despicable treatment of immigrant children, Trump has formally ordered the US military to begin the process of establishing a Space Force as a sixth branch of its armed forces.
“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” Mr Trump said at the White House, with a dough-brained Mike Pence nodding along behind him.
“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
Trump didn’t provide any details about what the new force will look like but said it would be “separate but equal” to the Air Force. The other US military branches are the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps.
According to the BBC, the US Congress would need to pass a law authorising it before any new branch of the military could be created.
But this new plan has already faced considerable opposition, even from Trump’s own allies.
Last year, Trump’s defence secretary, James Mattis, told Republicans in Congress that “at a time when we are trying to integrate the [Department of Defence’s] joint warfighting functions, I do not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even more parochial approach to space operations”.
And the internet has been doing what it does best – totally taking the piss out of Trump. Here’s some of the funniest spoofing of the president’s space force: