Cyber Command hits speed bump

Senate panel wants clarification on matters related to Alexander's nomination

The Senate Armed Services Committee this month put the brakes on the creation of the U.S. Cyber Command by requesting more information on its relationship with the National Security Agency, reports Bill Gertz at Washington Times.

Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, who is NSA’s director, has been nominated to four-star rank and to lead the Cyber Command. If approved, he would command both the NSA and Cyber Command and be promoted to full general. The Cyber Command’s headquarters would be located at Fort Meade, where NSA is currently headquartered.

In June 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved the creation of the Cyber Command as a unified, subdivision within the U.S. Strategic Command that would be responsible for protecting 15,000 computer networks across 4,000 military bases in 88 countries.

The committee has raised a number of detailed questions regarding the department’s plans for Cyber Command, including its relationship to the NSA, and has said that it would like all answers provided before considering Alexander’s nomination, U.S. Strategic Command officials said.

Although most concerns over the initial operating capability of the Cyber Command have been addressed, questions still remain about its future role and makeup, reports Lance Whitney at CNET. In addition to what the Cyber Command’s relationship be with the NSA, another matter is whether Alexander will be able to successfully juggle both jobs at once. Yet another concern is whether there will be other four-star generals in the wings capable of succeeding Alexander.

The committee is awaiting responses on the issue and will schedule a confirmation hearing after its questions are answered, said Bryan Thomas, a spokesman for Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

DOD officials met recently with committee staff members, and the department plans to answer additional questions, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Steve Curry, a Strategic Command spokesman.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1986, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group