The US President Donald Trump has elevated the status of Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s offensive cyber force, to a “unified combatant command” on Friday to bolster country’s cyber defenses.
“The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries,” Trump said in a statement Friday.
Formed in 2010, CyberCom will become the 10th unified command in the U.S. military, putting it on par with the main combatant commands, such as Central Command.
The step helps “streamline command and control of time-sensitive cyberspace operations by consolidating them under a single commander” with the requisite authority, Trump said. It also will ensure cyber operations are “adequately funded,” he said.
Since its beginning, CyberCom has been led by the director of the NSA, which is currently Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers. And now with this move, Rogers would have to be renominated and confirmed. However, for at least another year, because of Congressional requirements, it is expected that the head of the command and the NSA director will be the same person, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security Kenneth P. Rapuano was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.
The report also states that President Trump is also “examining the possibility” of separating the leadership of CyberCom from that of the NSA–or splitting the so-called “dual hat” relationship, and that he will announce recommendations on that possibility “at a later date”.