The next National Defense Authorization Act (the NDAA FY’18) is nearing the finish line. A Conference Report is now available, and so the time has come for a closer look at some of the key provisions of interest to Lawfare readers. My colleague Scott Anderson is going to post a broad overview shortly. For my part, I’d like to walk you through the “Cyberspace-Related Matters” section (sections 1631-1649C).
Latest in CYBERCOM
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.
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.