Cyber Command to Become Unified Combatant Command

Marsha Scott
August 19, 2017

In addition, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is looking into separating Cyber Command from the more intelligence-focused National Security Agency, under which it is now housed.

President Donald Trump said on Friday he was elevating the status of the Pentagon's.S. Cyber Command to help spur development of cyber weapons to deter attacks and punish intruders.

In addition to a commander, Cybercom and the NSA share facilities and a digital network at Fort Meade in Maryland. The elevation will mean the head of Cyber Command will eventually report directly to the secretary of defense. The president has directed Mattis to recommend a commander for U.S. Cyber Command, and Rogers for now remains in the dual-hatted role, Rapuano said. The president did not dictate a timeline on Mattis' decisions on the split.

Emphasizing the enhanced resolve against cyberspace threats, Trump, in a White House Statement stated, "Through United States Cyber Command, we will tackle our cyberspace challenges in coordination with like-minded allies and partners as we strive to respond rapidly to evolving cyberspace security threats and opportunities globally".

The U.S. Cyber Command "plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to lead day-to-day defense and protection of DoD information networks".

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Congress put limitations on the administration's ability to split the dual-hat structure, requiring the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the defense secretary certify that the arrangement would not "pose unacceptable risks to the military effectiveness of CYBERCOM". We must also develop an integrated, whole-of-government approach to protect and defend the United States from cyberattacks.

Cybercom's mission is different in that it disrupts and destroys adversaries' networks against incoming threats to critical systems, including the USA military's computers.

The command has been crucial in the US military's fight against the Islamic State. Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers is the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency director.

Cyber will join Special Operations Command, Strategic Command, and Transportation Command in being unified combatant commands not based on a geographical region.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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