According to two U.S. officials and another person familiar with the matter, the website of the Wall Street Journal published a report on December 20 entitled “DoD officials’ proposal to separate the National Security Agency from Cyber Command encounters congressmen’ opposition”.
According to two U.S. officials and another person familiar with the matter, the National Security Agency was officially removed from The proposal to divest the U.S.
Cyber Command has recently spread among Pentagon officials. It was supported by Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller. Miller entered the Pentagon in early November. The full text is excerpted as follows:
The Pentagon’s proposal to place the highest electronic espionage agency in the United States under civilian leadership has been criticized by lawmakers from both parties. They think this proposal is anachronistic and contrary to the law.
The proposal would separate control of the two institutions in the last weeks of the Trump administration. According to one of the officials, this seems to be the version previously proposed by former Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon.
The official said: “This is very preliminary.” He also said that a meeting was planned to be held next week to discuss this proposal.
Many current and former officials said that the partnership between the two spy agencies is crucial to sharing intelligence and resources. But some people also say that this arrangement may cause headaches to the bureaucracy.
Some officials also said that the two agencies’ missions conflicted with each other because Cyber Command focused on attack operations, and the main goal of the National Security Agency was to collect intelligence. Some people who support the separation of the two believe that the two institutions are too critical and large to be managed by a leader.
“Whether it’s keeping or ending the dual arrangement between the NSA and Cyber Command, it’s not the right time,” they said in the statement. They refer to the arrangement of two major agencies of the U.S. government at the helm of one person: one is the highest electronic espionage agency, and the other is the military agency responsible for launching cyber attacks against overseas enemies.
Officials said in an interview that it is impossible for President Trump’s administration to legally separate the two institutions before he leaves office next month.
Four MPs lead the Congress-mandated Cyberspace Day Commission, which earlier released a report calling on the government to change the way it responds to cyber threats.
The NSA and Cyber Command are both based in Fort Meade, Maryland, and are headed by General Paul Nakaszengen, an arrangement known as “two-time”.
For many years, U.S. officials and lawmakers have been considering formally divesing the National Security Agency and Cyber Command, which has been considered many times during the Obama administration.
The matter was controversial because it could lead to the politicization of the intelligence provided by the National Security Agency, which is one of the main agencies providing highly sensitive intelligence to the U.S. military.
It also means that before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the Trump administration will carry out a comprehensive bureaucratic restructuring of intelligence and cybersecurity institutions in its last days.