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DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR AND SPACE FORCE? President Trump has been insistent that a Space Force should be a completely independent military department. One way to organize the new service would be by establishing a Space Force under a larger Department of the Air and Space Force, according to sources. That idea was discussed last week at a White House meeting. The challenge for the White House is ensuring that the legislative proposal that goes to Capitol Hill next year gets enough support so it is not dead on arrival. Democrats are widely opposed to establishing a new service. The proposal would have to be specific about the scope of the Space Force as that would determine how much money the Pentagon has to request in the fiscal year 2020 budget.

DOD PROCUREMENT CHIEF BACKS SPACE FORCE In her first extensive comments about the Trump administration’s plans to establish a new military branch for space, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said a separate space service would help bring “focus and clarity” to space investments. Space programs today are spread out across multiple military services and agencies, which makes it hard for the Defense Department to develop a unified strategy for investments needed to counter adversaries in space, Lord said at the Reagan National Defense Forum. “One of the things we’re doing is looking at the complexity of space,” Lord said. “It is so co-mingled with all the other dimensions of warfare — sea, land, air.”

PUBLIC NOT SOLD President Trump’s calls for a new military branch for space win loud cheers at his political rallies. But the American public at large is not sold on the idea, according to a new survey by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. The survey shows a deep partisan divide over the Space Force and other national security issues. “President Trump’s proposal to create a new U.S. Space Force lacks broad public support,” the foundation reported. “Americans are split down the middle on the idea, with Republicans favoring the idea over Democrats by 2:1.” The survey found deep political and social polarization characterizing American civic life today is reflected in Americans’ views of national security and military. The polling was conducted between November 11 and 14 by a bipartisan team of Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research. It is based on interviews of more than 1,200 adult citizens.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...