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Assessment for independent cyber force passes House, Senate defense committee

June 17, 2024
Contributed by: Drex DeFord
Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have passed measures in their respective versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) calling for independent assessments on the potential establishment of a U.S. Cyber Force. This move aims to address the increasing cyber threats and current fragmented approaches within military services, which have led to readiness issues. The Senate had a similar provision last year, but it was removed during reconciliation with the House. The current effort includes an amendment proposed by Rep. Morgan Luttrell, directing the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct the study. Proponents argue that each service's isolated cyber capacity building is insufficient, and the need for a unified cyber military service is critical. The Department of Defense (DOD) is currently bundling various required studies under the "Cybercom 2.0" effort to address future cyber force structuring, with reports due in June 2025. Despite the push for new assessments, internal resistance within the DOD suggests a challenging path ahead for the proposed independent cyber force.
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