Senators introduce NDAA amendment to strengthen cybersecurity

congressToday U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that directs the president to elevate Cyber Command to a unified combatant command.

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, told the Senate Armed Service Committee last month that elevating CYBERCOM to a combatant commander designation “would allow us to be faster, which would generate better mission outcomes.”

“We should give our military the tools they need to do battle in the 21st century, whether it takes place on the field or in cyberspace,” said Sen. Warner. “I agree with Adm. Rogers that elevating CYBERCOM to a combatant command will improve mission outcomes, and allow us to respond more nimbly to defend against 21st century threats.”

“As ISIS is recruiting more and more followers online, CYBERCOM needs the ability to react quickly and engage the enemy effectively,” stated Sen. Daines. “Elevating Cyber Command will ensure that our military is always one step ahead of our adversaries in light of the increased global threats today.”

Created in 2009, U.S. Cyber Command is currently subordinate to U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the nation’s nuclear arsenal. There are nine unified combatant commands, organized to support either geographical areas or specialty functions, which form the basic structure for how the president executes command and control over military forces.

Congress established U.S. Special Operations Command to address a rapidly growing need and to unify forces. Today, with cyber threats being one of the fastest-growing national security threats we face, the need for another combatant command is no different. The amendment will elevate the command so it can respond to one of the fastest-growing threats facing our nation and ensures that Cyber Command is a national commitment receiving sufficient support to complete the ever-expanding cyber missions our warfighters face.

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