Trump administration proposes splitting Cyber Command from the NSA

It’s uncertain if the proposed split will move forward. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said through a spokesperson that he had yet to review or back the split. There’s certainly pressure for him to do so — Trump has dismissed multiple officials since the November election, and defying the outgoing President’s proposal could cost Gen. Milley his position. The Biden administration might soften or reverse the decision, though.

Whether or not it’s a good idea isn’t clear. Split supporters have long argued that Cyber Command is draining NSA resources and creates inefficiencies with unified leadership. Opponents, however, have argued that the two are closely integrated. A separation could damage national security, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith said in a letter to Milley.

The timing might be less than ideal. Cyber Command is one of the key agencies grappling with the wave of cyberattacks, and a change in leadership might complicate efforts to secure systems and respond. It won’t be surprising if any potential split is delayed or phased in.

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