Discrepancy over cyber responsibilities puts DOD at risk

Conflicting statements and a lack of clarity in cyber warfare responsibilities and expectations has obscured how -- and if -- U.S. military combat commands should manage cyber operations, an audit from the Government Accountability Office found, reports the Hill.

While a Defense Department-wide plan designates the U.S. Cyber Command with the role of directing network and cyberspace operations, it also contradicts itself, saying “that geographic combatant commanders are to exercise authority over all commands and forces within their areas of responsibility,” the report noted, creating a serious discrepancy and adding to the risk of cyberattack for military networks.

A new strategy, “Joint Test Publication 3-12,” being written by the Joint Staff, could alleviate the confusion if it is ever completed; the document will provide a comprehensive explanation of DOD’s cyber operations, though it is not known when it will be ready.

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