Taking a page from the Obama Administration, President Donald Trump announced news on Friday (Aug. 18) that the White House is elevating the U.S. Cyber Command to the status of Unified Combatant Command.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the move, which was recommended by former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who served under President Barack Obama, would give the government agency more freedom from the National Security Agency (NSA).
In a press release, President Donald Trump said the decision was aimed at strengthening the cyberspace operations and creating more opportunities to improve the country’s 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 the statement. “United States Cyber Command’s elevation will also 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. Elevation will also ensure that critical cyberspace operations are adequately funded.”
President Trump also said the current Secretary of Defense is looking at the possibility of separating United States Cyber Command from the National Security Agency. An announcement on that front will come at a later date.
“At the moment, we have the NSA, which is part of the intelligence community, managed by the Department of Defense, and CyberCom, which is a combat group whose first job is to protect,” Carter said during a recent interview with TechCrunch. “We had them both in the same location and able to work with one another. That has worked very well, but it is not necessarily the right approach.”
According to TechCrunch, both of the government agencies are led by the director of NSA who is Admiral Mike Rogers. The idea of splitting the two was making the rounds last year but faced resistance from Senator John McCain, who is now on board with the idea, reported TechCrunch.