The US military is moving ahead with plans to create its first “cyber command” designed to bolster America’s potential to wage digital warfare as well as defend against mounting cyber threats, officials said on Friday.
After President Barack Obama announced Friday his plans to overhaul cyber security policy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was expected to soon formally propose the new cyber command that will be overseen by a four-star officer, Pentagon officials told AFP.
The move reflects a shift in military strategy with “cyber dominance” now part of US war doctrine and growing alarm over the perceived threat posed by digital espionage coming from China, Russia and elsewhere.
US officials say China has built up a sophisticated cyber warfare program and that a spate of intrusions in the United States and elsewhere can be traced back to Chinese sources.
Defense officials say the cyber command would focus on security efforts for US networks along with offensive capabilities to ensure “freedom of action in cyberspace” to protect America’s interests.
The precise details of US cyber military power remain secret, but it includes technology capable of penetrating and jamming networks, including the classified Suter airborne system, analysts say.