[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), along with U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that directs the president to elevate Cyber Command to a Combatant Command. U.S. Cyber Command it is currently a subordinate unit to Strategic Command. Congress established US 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 no different.
“Cyber attacks are an ever-growing threat to our national security,” Blumenthal stated. “As the internet touches more aspects of our work and daily lives, our military must be equipped to defend and protect our nation. Elevating CYBERCOM to a Combatant Command will enhance its ability to protect Americans from cyber threats.”
The 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. It 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.