Trump orders elevation of cyber warfare unit

President Trump announces move to elevate Cyber Command

Trump said the separation of Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, a more controversial move, is being reviewed by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

President Donald Trump on Friday elevated the U.S. military's Cyber Command, which oversees the defense of the military's information networks and conducts offensive cyber-operations, putting it on the same level as other combatant commands that operate in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. The command is based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, with the National Security Agency. The president has directed Mattis to recommend a commander for U.S. Cyber Command, and Rogers for now remains in the dual-hatted role, Rapuano said.

"This decision is a significant step in the department's continued efforts to build its cyber capabilities, enabling Cyber Command to provide real, meaningful capabilities as a command on par with the other geographic and functional combat commands", Rapuano said.

President Barack Obama endorsed splitting the agencies before he left office.

The NSA, founded in 1952, is tasked with protecting the government's classified networks - but it is perhaps best known for spying on overseas targets to gather intelligence on adversaries and foreign governments.


Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain welcomed the move, saying in a statement: "I am pleased with today's announcement elevating U.S. Cyber Command to a unified combatant command". Since it was founded in 1952 it has been commanded by a four-star military officer.

It will become the Pentagon's 10th unified combatant command, joining the regional commands, Strategic Command, Transportation Command and Special Operations Command.

The newly revamped Cyber Command will "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", said the president's statement released on Friday.

He said that it demonstrates his increased resolve against cyberspace threats. Its new title will let CyberCom use computer networks for military purposes without having to get permission from the U.S. Strategic Command, which is responsible for nuclear weapons and missile defense.

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