After months of delay, the Trump administration is finalising plans to revamp the nation’s military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations in hopes of intensifying America’s ability to wage cyber war against the Islamic State and other foes, according to U.S. officials.
Under the plans, U.S. Cyber Command would be split off from the intelligence-focused National Security Agency. Details are still being worked out, but officials say they expect a decision and announcement in the coming weeks.
The goal, they said, is to give U.S. Cyber Command more autonomy, freeing it from any constraints that stem from working alongside the NSA.
Making cyber an independent military command will put the fight in digital space on the same footing as more traditional realms of battle on land, in the air, at sea and in space. The move reflects the escalating threat of cyberattacks and intrusions from other nation states, terrorist groups and hackers, and comes as the U.S. faces fears about Russian hacking.
The U.S. has long operated quietly in cyberspace, using it to collect information, disrupt enemy networks and aid conventional military missions. But as other nations and foes expand their use of cyberspying and attacks, the U.S. seeks to improve its ability to incorporate cyber operations into its everyday war-fighting.