While the film Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker premiered in theaters this past week, a spending package was signed into law by President Trump which included the formation of a Space Force- the newest branch of the military. Such a branch has been advocated throughout the years, and the idea of creating it was renewed last year by President Trump.
The functions of the Space Force are to provide freedom of operation for the United States in, to, and from space, as well as providing prompt and sustained space operations. The duties of the Space Force consist of 1) protecting the interests of the United States in space, 2) deterring aggression in, from, and to space, and 3) conducting space operations.
Previously, the Space Force was Air Force Space Command, and thus part of the United States Air Force. Now it will be a separate military branch but will still be under the Department of the Air Force. Its commanding general (known as the Chief of Space Operations [CSO]) will be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So basically the Space Force has become a separate branch within the Armed Forces, just like the Air Force became a separate branch in 1947 (after being known as the Army Air Corps under the United States Army).
Whether the Space Force should be a separate military branch or remain Air Force Space Command is debatable, particularly for budget reasons.
Meanwhile, the United States Coast Guard remains a part of the Department of Homeland Security (after being part of the Department of Transportation). It can be part of the Navy during wartime. As I previously advocated (and continue to do so), the Coast Guard should be transferred to the Department of Defense. It would be under the Department of the Navy (along with the Navy and Marine Corps), and its commandant would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As for the rest of the Department of Homeland Security, I feel it can be placed under the Justice Department, except for FEMA (which can be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services), and the TSA (which can be abolished and replaced by private security companies).
I also believe the Department of Veteran Affairs should be placed under the Department of Defense. In addition, the Department of Defense can acquire the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Defense Nuclear Facilities Board, and Selective Service System.
And that’s the way it should be.