There have been two interesting developments regarding the U.S. cyber command structure in recent months. I was interested in understanding what was going on as the command has a significant role to play in the war in Ukraine and in many cyber operations around the world. In addition, I wanted to know what changes were expected.
Here are the main points:
- Should Cyber Command be separated from the National Security Agency (NSA)? Why are they under the same commander and what are the advantages of this?
– All these questions were examined by a special committee established on the subject.The committee was established under the guidance of President Biden and headed by the former US Joint Chiefs of Staff.
– How did we get here?
The situation known as “dual-hat” where the Military Cyber Command and the NSA (the largest intelligence agency in the US) are under one commander was created when in 2009 the US Cyber Command was established as a relatively small unit based on the infrastructure of the NSA.
In the past, several attempts were made to separate the command from the NSA – both during the Obama and Trump administrations – but the attempts did not mature into an actual separation.
– Who supports the existing situation?
General Paul Nakasone, who has headed Cyber Command and the NSA since 2018, strongly supports the existing force structure. According to him, this close relationship allows Cyber Command to make operational decisions quickly. Many believe that the close relationship between the two organizations, with one person in charge of both, allows the US to operate more effectively in cyberspace.
The results of this relationship were reflected in American involvement in the war in Ukraine. This was when Cyber Command sent forward teams to assist in gathering the most accurate intelligence.
– What was decided?
After an examination that lasted for several months, the members of the committee did not reach definite conclusions. Therefore, for now, the situation will remain as it is, and will continue to give the USA a significant advantage in the execution of cyber operations.
- So what will cyber command look like in the future?
– At a press conference in early January, General Nakasone referred to the future of Cyber Command and presented the U.S. Special Operations Command as a model.
– Cyber and special offersCyber Command wants to act like Special Operations Command because the structure of Special Operations Command allows it to use dedicated capabilities in the field. These capabilities are capabilities that the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force cannot provide on their own.
– Today it is clear that cyber is part of every campaign – war, the campaign between the wars, and covert operations in times that are not war – so it makes sense that the US Cyber Command, whose missions are increasing, sees the Special Operations Command as a successful organizational model and wants to develop in a similar organizational way.
From the local point of view – it will be interesting to see whether the changes that the US Cyber Command is going through as a result of global developments will also affect the building of Israel’s cyber power in the coming years.
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