HASC Bill ‘Fully’ Supports DoD/Military Cyber Activities; Requests Details on Cyber Test Ranges, USCYBERCOM’s Offense/Defense Rules Of Engagement
DefenseNews.com’s John Bennett reported yesterday that “a House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Subcommittee on Tuesday, released legislation that would require Pentagon officials to conduct several sweeping reviews of military intelligence programs. The HASC’s Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee’s version of the lower chamber’s 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains no dollar figure for how much it would authorize the military to spend on things like intelligence, special operations, and cyber.” Mr. Bennett adds that “those levels will be decided by next week by the full Armed Services Committee. But, a review of the subcommittee’s bill show’s it largely supports the Pentagon’s 2015 request in each area.”
“The legislation, to be voted on by the panel today (Wednesday), contains a slew of provisions raising concerns about the Pentagon’s intelligence, special operations, and cyber activities. The legislation fully supports the Pentagon’s requested cyber plans. But, it does call for the Defense Department “to develop an assessment of cyber Command functions,” according to a HASC summary of the legislation. It would also direct the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to establish an Executive Agent to coordinate and oversee cyber training and test ranges, — critical to operationalizing and improving our DoD forces.”
According to the summary, the bill calls for a number of reports on intelligence and special operations programs and activities that:
— Direct DoD to review and assess intelligence activities by U.S. Special Operations Forces, and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) — as part of the committee’s robust oversight of intelligence activities;”
— Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to provide more information on how defense intelligence priorities are addressed in resource decisions for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), or National Intelligence Program (NIP);
— Direct the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to provide more information on DIA’s efforts to address both national intelligence — as well as defense intelligence priorities.
With respect to DoD Cyber activities and programs, the April 29, 2014 online edition of TheFederalTimes.com, notes that the HASC calls upon DoD to provide further information on numerous cyber activities, including cyber range and test activities, the cyber workforce, cyber authorities, and relationships with other federal organizations. With respect to DoD’s cyber ranges, “the Committee is aware that a number of cyber ranges currently exist, but DoD’s Test and Evaluation Strategic Plan has identified a number of capability gaps that need to be addressed in order to provide sufficient and adequate cyber test and training. Though there has been significant growth of cyber personnel to fulfill critical defensive and offensive missions for the Department, the capacity for training in a realistic environment has not kept pace. In another section of the bill, the Secretary of the Air Force and the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) are directly to jointly report on the service’s cyber spending and workforce.
The language also calls for a report on the Congressional Defense Committees “that captures the aggregate Air Force investment in cyber, laying out where the various elements of Air Force cyber are nested, and how those elements are integrated within the overall Air Force and DoD cyber enterprises.”
Finally, the bill calls on the DoD Comptroller to provide additional clarity regarding U.S. Cyber Command. Among the requested information, according to the Federal Times, is further detail related to CYBERCOM’s long-term mission; as well as, its organizations, mission authorities and relationships with the Geographic Combatant Commands, and other federal agencies. The language also asks for more details on USCYBERCOM’s offensive [cyber] and defensive rules of engagement. V/R, RCP