Friday morning, the White House announced it will elevate Cyber Command to a full unified combatant command. Within 60 days, the Secretary of Defense will recommend whether Cyber Command should also be split from the National Security Agency.
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The White House has released a statement announcing the elevation of CYBERCOM to a unified combatant command.
The Government Accountability Office last week published a report that, among other things, weighs in on the pros and cons of the NSA/CYBERCOM “dual-hat” system (pursuant to which the director of the NSA/CSS and commander of CYBERCOM are the same person). The report deserves attention but also some criticism and context. Here’s a bit of all three.
1. What is the “dual-hat” issue?
In light of Michael Sulmeyer’s excellent recent piece on splitting NSA and CYBERCOM, which ran at War on the Rocks last week, I want to pull together some of the key legal and policy developments of the past year in a single narrative. My aim is to put them in context with each other in a way that will provide useful background for those new to this issue, while also putting a spotlight on the deconfliction-of-equities issue that the split proposal raises.
C4ISRNET recently published an interesting and useful four-part series exploring what U.S. Cyber Command will need to operate on its own, separate from the National Security Agency. (Part I is here and provides links to the other parts in the series.)
A reminder that Congress can exert significant power when it comes to the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of executive branch agencies. That includes the Department of Defense's approach to military cyber operations.
NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning on the state of United States Cyber Command.
With the President supposedly poised to sign the NDAA FY'16 notwithstanding its GTMO transfer restrictions (subject, no doubt, to a signing statement hinting at an override option), it's a good time to take note of other interesting aspects of the bill. Among other things, there are some interesting cyber-provisions, as well as an interesting EMP development.
Cyber Changes Everything, Cyber Changes Nothing: On Admiral Rogers' Vision and Guidance for Cyber Command
In June, US Cyber Command issued Beyond the Build. It presents Admiral Michael Rogers’ vision and guidance for the command and its subordinate units. With little fanfare, the document was publically released in September by the Department of Defense. It has yet to receive much attention. Here’s why everyone should read it.