Trump’s Bigly Plan to Be Better at ‘the Cyber’

The administration is planning key changes to U.S. cyberintelligence structure, but is it a step backward for U.S. national security?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump  prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7.
Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON        (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7. Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7. Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)

After months of speculation, the Trump administration is moving forward with an Obama administration proposal to separate U.S. Cyber Command from the National Security Agency. Meanwhile, in his continued campaign to slash bureaucracy at the Department of State, Bloomberg reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering eliminating the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues. Will these changes create a structure that allows the United States to more effectively combat cyber threats while offensively gathering intelligence on key adversaries?

On this week’s second episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for news Sharon Weinberger is joined by New America’s Peter Singer, the EastWest Institute’s Bruce McConnell, and FP’s Elias Groll to discuss the proposals and how the defense and intelligence communities balance operational and intelligence concerns.

Peter W. Singer is strategist at New America and an editor at Popular Science magazine. He is the author of Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know and Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War. Follow him on Twitter: @peterwsinger.

After months of speculation, the Trump administration is moving forward with an Obama administration proposal to separate U.S. Cyber Command from the National Security Agency. Meanwhile, in his continued campaign to slash bureaucracy at the Department of State, Bloomberg reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering eliminating the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues. Will these changes create a structure that allows the United States to more effectively combat cyber threats while offensively gathering intelligence on key adversaries?

On this week’s second episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for news Sharon Weinberger is joined by New America’s Peter Singer, the EastWest Institute’s Bruce McConnell, and FP’s Elias Groll to discuss the proposals and how the defense and intelligence communities balance operational and intelligence concerns.

Peter W. Singer is strategist at New America and an editor at Popular Science magazine. He is the author of Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know and Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War. Follow him on Twitter: @peterwsinger.

Bruce W. McConnell is the global vice president and chief of the Cooperation in Cyberspace Initiative at the EastWest Institute. He previously served as deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity in the Department of Homeland Security. Follow him on Twitter: @brucemcconnell.

Elias Groll is a FP staff writer covering cyberspace and its conflicts and controversies. Follow him on Twitter: @EliasGroll.

Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the WorldFollow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.

Tune in, now three times a week, to FP’s The E.R.

Subscribe to The E.R. and Global Thinkers podcasts on iTunes.

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