The commander of the nation's top military cybersecurity organizations, the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, has recommended they split from each other next year, Defense One has confirmed. That's another delay for an organizational change first planned for in 2016 and since slowed to allow officials time to sort out the authorities for the civilian agency and military command and ensure that both entities can perform well independently.
Gen. Paul Nakasone, who leads NSA and CYBERCOM, recommended to former Defense Secretary James Mattis last August that the split be put off until 2020, current and former intelligence officials told Defense One this week. Those officials believe the general's recommendation will be accepted by Pentagon leaders, though Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's views are not known. A Pentagon spokesman said no official decision has been made. Previous reports have hinted at the timing without confirming a year. In December, Defense One filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the command for the information, which was denied on the basis that the information was “pre-decisional.”