Satellites make much of modern warfare possible, through GPS systems, wireless communications and sophisticated weather forecasting. This makes them tempting military targets. The U.S. Air Force has been responsible for defending American satellites and spacecraft. President Donald Trump said in 2018 that the perils required a separate military branch. More than a year later, House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement to fund Space Force, the first new military service in seven decades.
In a 2018 report to Congress, a Department of Defense plan called for aggressive offensive capabilities to defend U.S. interests in space. It included systems that could “degrade, deny, disrupt, destroy, and manipulate adversary capabilities” as well as joint space training and military exercises with U.S. allies. The force under consideration by Congress would sit within the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps sits within the Navy.