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US Cyber Command Could Be Elevated To Major Cyber Weapon Unit

Obama administration debates separating Cyber Command from NSA in battle against cyber threats and Islamic State, say sources.

The US Cyber Command may be promoted to a "unified command" equivalent to other combat branches of the military under a government plan in the works that would separate the Command from the National Security Agency (NSA), according to Reuters. 

White House officials reportedly are mulling the move to address a need for modern warfare digital weapons to counter evolving threats in cyberspace, and to combat the Islamic State.

The plan, still under discussion, will give Cyber Command more say in both offensive and defensive tactics, add officials. Currently, Cyber Command is part of the US Strategic Command.

Pentagon leaders have been unhappy with Cyber Command’s slow pace despite cyberattacks against the Islamic State, say reports. As a result, the Joint Task Force Ares -- made up of officials from each of the military services -- was created with "the specific mission to accomplish cyberspace objectives in support of counter-ISIL operations."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter in April said that $35 billion would be allocated to cyber spending over the next five years:  "Adapting to new functions will include changes in how we manage ourselves in cyberspace," Carter said.

Read more on Reuters.