The Department of Defense said the department hasn't assessed the proposed separation of the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, which shares leadership, infrastructure and talent, Fifth Domain reported Wednesday.
“No decision has been made on whether to terminate the dual-hat leadership arrangement,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith. “The department will address whether to terminate this dual-hat leadership arrangement at a later date.”
The announcement comes amid the call from defense officials to run CYBERCOM and NSA as independent agencies to avoid conflicts in decision-making. Andrew Schoka, an active duty Army cyber operations officer assigned to CYBERCOM, said the command is heavily relying on NSA tradecraft, infrastructure, staff and space.
“For [CYBERCOM] to more effectively accomplish its mission, it should be separated from NSA sooner than planned,” he said. “This will allow the command to better pursue the nation’s military objectives in cyberspace.”
Meanwhile, top CYBERCOM officials said that the partnership with NSA helps gather more intelligence and provide national security. Gen. Paul Nakasone, a 2019 Wash100 Award winner currently leads both NSA and CYBERCOM.
“NSA has world class expertise, technical capabilities and access that are crucial to the United States Cyber Command’s success,” said David Luber, executive director of CYBERCOM.