Cybercom could split from NSA and become its own command

Cybercom could split from NSA and become its own command

By Loree Lewis   
The U.S. Army’s ‘Cyber Center of Excellence’, Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, hosted a multi-service ‘NetWar’ to show, and build, cyber Warrior capabilities Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (Georgia Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tracy J. Smith)

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told the SASC Thursday that the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is "the first major combat operation of Cybercom."

Washington (Talk Media News) – The 2017 defense policy bill passed through the House Armed Services Committee Thursday with language that would boost the U.S. Cyber Command (Cybercom) into its own fully unified military command and launch a review of whether the office should be separated from the National Security Agency (NSA).

Cybercom is a subordinate to U.S. Strategic Command and under the same leadership of the NSA. The head of both Cybercom and the NSA, Navy Adm. Michael Rogers, told the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) earlier this month that Cybercom should be its own command as cyber warfare is playing an only expanding role in international conflicts.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told the Command Thursday that the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is “the first major combat operation of Cybercom.”

“The objectives there are to interrupt ISIL command and control, interrupt its ability to move money around, interrupt its ability to tyrannize and control population[s], interrupt its ability to recruit externally. All of that it does in a cyber enabled way,” Carter said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The U.S. military recently acknowledged that it has been conducting offensive cyber operations against ISIS, a terrorist organization known for its technological competence.

Formed in 2010, Cybercom is slightly over half-staffed and is on track to be fully operational by 2018, Rogers said. When fully staffed, the operation will have 6,200 troops spread over 133 offensive and defensive cyber teams.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the defense policy bill that authorizes the defense budget, passed through the Committee with a 60-2 vote and will go to the House floor for approval.

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