President Trump’s vision of a new Space Force military service went from off-the-cuff public remarks to Pentagon policy in just five months.
The president has charged the military with carrying out one of the most profound changes in its organizational structure since the Air Force was created in 1947. But ultimately Congress will decide whether Trump’s plan achieves lift off or comes crashing back to Earth.
That political debate is looming in 2019 and could hinge on money. The price tag for a Space Force is so far unknown. The Air Force estimates it will cost $13 billion.
“We're saying that the cost associated with standing up the additional structure, we'll probably know by the end of the year. We haven't done that cost estimation yet,” Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said.
Once calculated, the tab will be handed to the House and Senate early next year as part of a detailed Pentagon request for legislation needed to create the sixth service branch.
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