The Air Force Association (AFA) has announced its opposition to establishing a separate military service responsible for space in the foreseeable future, the association said.
This position has nothing to do with parochialism and everything to do with operational effectiveness in space and avoiding the pitfalls of prematurely establishing a sixth military service.
Space assets today enable weapons in air, on land, on and under the sea. As such, any current or future conflict will depend heavily on space so we must be capable of defending those assets. Those arguing for more attention to be paid for defense of space assets so that the US can continue to lead the world in space are absolutely right. However, creating an entirely new service is not the way to achieve that objective; at least not any time soon.
Fighting from space is a concept that our nation has not yet fully debated or decided and would have significant international ramifications, must be debated nationally, and laws must be passed.
Military effects from air and space have long been integrated, and are today indivisible. Standing up a new service that is void of sound doctrine, will create another seam hindering joint operations and will break a critical link that has served the nation well for decades.
According to AFA the intellectual foundation for an effective US Space Force requires mature space power theory and space strategy. Both are currently inadequate and induce risk to the national security space enterprise. Creating a separate space force will drain billions of dollars in resources from current and future readiness.
AFA does support the reestablishment of the unified combatant command, US Space Command, to help institutionalize the use of space by all service components that conduct joint force operations and to drive advancements in military space in the future.
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association.