In a statement issued late Friday, President Trump announced that he is formally elevating the US Cyber Command into a combatant command within the US military, and that it will be exclusively focused on fighting cyber wars.
The move marks an increase in US military commitment to investing an both cyber attack and defense, to the delight of military contractors likely to get pricey deals out of this buildup, while formally splitting Cyber Command from the NSA.
The split itself means a recognition that the NSA’s surveillance and spying activities, despite being conducted on the Internet, are totally distinct from Cyber Command’s duties, which appear to largely including hacking attacks against online enemies.
Such a split also means two entirely separate chains of command, which likely means more bottom line spending for the sake of cyber warfare in the long run. It will, however, mean two separate commanders, so Admiral Michael Rogers will presumably only be leading one command or the other in the future.
Ultimately, as with discussion of establishing a Space Force as a formal branch of the US military, these moves center on broadly expanding the size and ambition of what were in the past very limited parts of the Pentagon’s massive worldwide operations, threatening to grow them to unfathomable size.