This answer to What are the factors exactly that will make missions like OTV-6 “Space Force launches”? which I've accepted includes the following:

The US Space Force (USSF) is the successor to Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). Because Air Force Space Command was redesignated as Space Force, any projects that were AFSPC are now USSF. It's true that, as I'm writing this, very few people are actually members of the USSF (it might actually be a single person: the Chief of Space Operations). However, there are plenty of people assigned to the USSF: everyone who was assigned to AFSPC is now assigned to the USSF (they just aren't yet members of the USSF while the military figures out who to transfer, who to retrain, and who to keep in the USAF with a space specialty). Civilians work for the Department of the Air Force (which is the parent of both services), so they only need to change their business cards.

That, together with the sentiment behind the question Is the proposal to create a US Space Force being taken seriously? and some of its answers leads me to wonder about post-Trump reversals of recent changes to the US government and military.

As an unqualified observer, it certainly looks to me like the US Space Force would not be difficult to reverse or dissolve within a year if it turns out the administration changes, but I could be missing something.

Question: What would be the political challenges to a potential next administration in 2021 reversing Trump's effort to create a new branch of the US military, and dissolving the Space Force or evolving it to something that would not be considered a distinct branch of the US military?


1 Answer 1



The US Space Force was established by Section 1601 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act

Establishment.--With the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President, through the Secretary of Defense, shall establish under the United States Strategic Command a subordinate unified command to be known as the United States Space Command (in this section referred to as `space command') for carrying out joint space warfighting operations.

While it could be that Democrats want to "stick it to Trump" at some point, this was one of the few times that Democrats and Republicans worked together to bring this into existence. In other words there were major concessions on both sides

White House advisers, told by the president to make the Space Force the top priority in negotiations, were prepared at times to consider dramatic concessions.

Ultimately, Democratic lawmakers and the White House struck a tentative bargain late last week to create the Space Force in exchange for new parental-leave benefits for the federal workforce. If approved, it would be the biggest victory for federal employees in nearly 30 years.

Which is exactly what passed

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a $738 billion defense policy bill providing the first paid family leave for all federal workers and the creation of a Space Force, a top military priority for President Donald Trump.

Since this was created by legislation, it would have to be removed by the same method. It's highly unlikely it would get enough votes, and nobody who voted against the bill cited the USSF as a reason they did so, meaning there's no legislative priority to remove it. Mostly, the USSF is benign anyways. No bases will be closed, and some Air Force personnel will simply change in who they report to.

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    It wouldn't be the first time that after having reached a deal, some time later when the balance of power shifts, one side tries to retract its concessions while keeping the other side's concessions. It's politics, so anything goes.
    – Sjoerd
    Jun 10, 2020 at 23:51

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