8/21/2017
12:45 PM

Trump Makes US Cyber Command an Official Combat Arm

Move seen as step one in spinning off the command from the NSA.



The White House late last week officially elevated the US Cyber Command to a Unified Combatant Command for cyberspace operations.

The US Cyber Command, currently under the umbrella of the National Security Agency, soon may also be spun off completely from the spy agency.

"United States Cyber Command’s elevation will also help streamline command and control of time-sensitive cyberspace operations by consolidating them under a single commander with authorities commensurate with the importance of such operations. Elevation will also ensure that critical cyberspace operations are adequately funded," President Donald Trump said in an a statement announcing the anticipated move.

The White House announcement also noted that Defense Secretary James Mattis is exploring whether to separate the US Cyber Command from NSA. The Cyber Command was created in 2009 as a cyber offensive arm under the NSA.

Greg Touhill, the US government's first federal CISO, applauded the move. "I welcome today's announcement by the president. The elevation of United States Cyber Command to combatant command status has long been awaited. As the Department of Defense (DoD) moves to implement the president's order, what is really important in this process is the determination of how to segregate the intelligence mission of the National Security Agency (NSA) from the operational mission of US Cyber Command," he said in a statement.

"From my perch, I believe the DoD should not dual-hat the leadership of the two organizations. US Cyber Command and NSA have different authorities and missions. I believe the NSA should be supporting all combatant commands rather than being distracted by trying to be one itself," said Touhill, who is president of Cyxtera's Federal Group. 

Read the official US Cyber Command announcements here and here

 

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