The Obama administration is preparing to elevate the stature of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, signaling more emphasis on developing cyber weapons to deter attacks, punish intruders into U.S. networks and tackle adversaries such as Islamic State, current and former officials told Reuters.
Under the plan being considered at the White House, the officials said, U.S. Cyber Command would become what the military calls a “unified command” equal to combat branches of the military such as the Central and Pacific Commands.
Cyber Command would be separated from the National Security Agency, a spy agency responsible for electronic eavesdropping, the officials said. That would give Cyber Command leaders a larger voice in arguing for the use of both offensive and defensive cyber tools in future conflicts.
Both organizations are based at Fort Meade, Maryland, about 30 miles north of Washington, and led by the same officer, Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers.