Biden Names Air Force General To Command NSA And Cyber ​​Command

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has elected new leaders for the National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber ​​Command, a joint position that oversees much of U.S. cyber warfare and defense.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Ho, currently deputy commander of the Cyber ​​Command, will succeed Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who has led both organizations since May 2018 and was set to step down this year, according to a notice sent by the Air Force. It was forcibly announced this week, a person familiar with the announcement confirmed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity about personnel matters that have not yet been made public.

If approved, Ho will be responsible for the highly influential US effort to strengthen Ukraine’s cybersecurity and share intelligence with the Ukrainian military as it fights Russian aggression. He also targets programs to detect and thwart foreign influence and interference in U.S. elections, as well as the criminals behind ransomware attacks that shut down hospital systems and, at one point, major U.S. fuel pipelines. I plan to oversee the program.

Politico was the first to report that Ho was elected.

Ho’s appointment to head both the NSA and Cyber ​​Command reflects the White House’s desire to have one person head both organizations. This arrangement is known as a “dual hat” post.

Some senior Republican lawmakers have long wanted to split leadership, saying each organization is so important that it needs a full-time leader. Nakasone has long advocated maintaining the double hat, saying it would allow him and future leaders to use more power more efficiently.

The Biden administration set up a small study group last year to review leadership. The review showed support for the status quo.

A person familiar with the matter said the group’s findings suggested that having one person in charge of both agencies would better reflect the structure of U.S. allies’ cyber and intelligence activities and help combat cyber warfare. It has been found to facilitate rapid, informed action, an important aspect, he said. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive issues.

The group also said that within the United States, having a single person responsible would streamline decision-making, and that information would be based on information rather than passing through the leadership of both organizations before recommendations on responses were made. I also discovered that I was able to act more quickly.

The group reviewed intelligence and cyber operations case studies to determine whether a dual-hat structure was needed and reported its findings to the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and relevant congressional committees. . an official said.

According to his military career, Ho was a career Signals Agent and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, which is awarded to military personnel for heroism and outstanding achievement in the battlefield. He has served as deputy commander of the U.S. Cyber ​​Command since August.

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