TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -“I don’t think it will address any of the challenges we need to focus on – I think it’s the wrong way to go,” James told Hill.TV on Tuesday.
“The question is: Does a brand-new bureaucracy that needs to be stood up with perhaps thousands of new people, and billions of dollars to set up the infrastructure, is that the right way to address what really needs to happen? And I say no,” added James, who served under the Obama administration.
She acknowledged the importance of developing new technology to help the military win wars in space, but said the US military should test and develop technologies rather than create a whole new division.
“A new branch of the military would take focus and resources away from technology – not toward it,” she told Hill.TV.
US Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday that the Pentagon was going to add a sixth branch to America's military in order to fulfill Trump’s wish to achieve US dominance in space.
“To prepare for the next battlefield, where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation," Pence told an audience at the Pentagon Thursday alongside Defense Secretary James Mattis.
On Sunday, Mattis, who last year asked lawmakers to ditch all attempts to create a separate space service, told reporters that he didn’t mean a space force was not necessary.
“I was not against setting up a Space Force,” he told reporters who accompanied him on a flight to Brazil to kick off his debut South America tour in his current position. “What I was against was rushing to do that before we could define the problem.”
This is while Mattis wrote in a letter to Representative Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican, last year that adding a separate space force “would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations.”
James said Mattis might not have had much of a choice, saying that Trump “went off script” with his proposal.
“You have a position where the military – including Secretary Mattis – even though they're on record against the idea, they’re stuck because unless they’re prepared to resign or risk being fired they now have to do their best to implement what the president has said,” James said.
Critics, including Air Force Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, argue that adding a space branch to the military is pointless as it would drive up costs and increase bureaucracy.
Shortly after Pence’s announcement, Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan told reporters that the Pentagon had yet to determine the costs of establishing a space force and would submit a legislative proposal for it in the fiscal 2020 budget request.
Shanahan also defended Mattis’ reversal, saying his letter to lawmakers last year came at a time when “we had budget caps ... and we were going through significant belt-tightening exercises.”
Source: Press TV