DOD creates new counterterrorism panel

Senior Pentagon officials have created a new panel in charge of integrating Defense Department activities that could aid the military in fighting terrorism worldwide, Pentagon sources told Federal Computer Week.

The group, dubbed the Combating Terrorism Coordination Council, is headed by Joint Staff Director Army Lt. Gen. Walter Sharp and Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for policy, sources say.

Members of the influential Deputy’s Advisory Working Group, headed by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, approved the creation of the council a few months ago, Pentagon insiders said. The panel has met a handful of times since then, according to those sources. A formal charter for the group is still under development, they said.

The council’s task is to integrate a number of counterterrorism-related DOD initiatives that so far have operated independently of one another. These initiatives are: improving the military’s ability to conduct stability, reconstruction and counterinsurgency operations;  building up foreign security forces; developing irregular warfare skills and doctrine; and other activities under the Bush administration’s global war on terrorism label, several sources said.

Council members will work with officials at the National Counterterrorism Center, using that venue to escalate issues as needed, according to an organizational diagram for the panel FCW reviewed.

One Pentagon official said the new group could shift the profile of counterterrorism operations in the Defense Department from a domain reserved for special operations forces to one of interest to the military as a whole.

In 2004, President Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld designated U.S. Special Operations Command as the lead organization for combating terrorist networks.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.