WASHINGTON, May 11, 2010 — Defense officials are lauding the Senate’s confirmation of Army Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, to also lead the new U.S. Cyber Command.
The Senate confirmed Alexander on May 7, approving his promotion to four-star rank to lead both organizations at Fort Meade, Md.
“We are pleased that the Senate has moved forward with his confirmation,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. “General Alexander brings to the job the leadership to stand up this command, and the skills and expertise that will be critical to the new command in dealing with security challenges in the cyber domain.”
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates created the new command in June in light of growing threats against the Defense Department’s computer networks, the corresponding threat to national security and the need for unity of command to address the problem.
Cyber Command, which is subordinate to U.S. Strategic Command, must strike a balance between protecting military assets and personal privacy, Keith told the Senate during his mid-April confirmation hearing. His main focus at Cyber Command, he told the panel, will be to build capacity and capability to secure the networks and educating the public on the command’s intent.
“This command is not about an effort to militarize cyberspace,” he said. “Rather, it’s about safeguarding our military assets.”
The Department of Homeland Security has oversight responsibility for the “dot-gov” Internet domain, Alexander said. Cyber Command is responsible for “dot-mil” security, he said, and for giving early warning of cyber threats to the United States and providing people and capabilities to support any homeland threat.
Alexander has served as director of the National Security Agency and chief of Central Security Service since 2005.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)