U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today lead a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that directs the president to elevate U.S. Cyber Command to a Combatant Command. U.S. Cyber Command it is currently a subordinate unit to U.S. Strategic Command.
Congress established U.S. Special Operations Command to address a rapidly growing need, strengthen the warfighter 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 clear.
Daines’ 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.
“As ISIS is recruiting more and more followers online, CYBERCOM needs the ability to react quickly and engage the enemy effectively,” Daines stated. “Elevating Cyber Command will ensure that our military is always one step ahead of our adversaries in light of the increased global threats today.”
Daines’ amendment is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Joni Ernst (R-IA) Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).
The amendment is similar in the House NDAA and requires the President, with the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, through the Secretary of Defense, establish a unified combatant command for cyber operations forces responsible for assigned cyber missions.
The full text is available below:
ESTABLISHMENT OF UNIFIED COMBATANT COMMAND FOR CYBER OPERATIONS.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF CYBER COMMAND
Chapter 6 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
ESTABLISHMENT.—With the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President, through the Secretary of Defense, shall establish under section 161 of this title a unified combatant command for cyber operations forces. The principal function of the command is to prepare cyber operations forces to carry out assigned missions.