Pentagon to Ask for More Cyber Spending in Next Budget

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the department would focus more on intelligence gathering, reconnaissance.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel responds to a question from a reporter at the Pentagon, September 18, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
Feb. 19, 2014, 5:55 a.m.

The Pentagon’s cy­ber budget will get a boost as part of the de­part­ment’s fisc­al 2015 budget re­quest, De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel said Tues­day.

“We are ad­just­ing our as­set base and our new tech­no­logy,” the Pentagon’s top of­fi­cial said, adding that the de­part­ment will in­crease spend­ing to help im­prove its cy­ber cap­ab­il­it­ies, in­clud­ing a lar­ger fo­cus on cy­ber se­cur­ity, in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing, and re­con­nais­sance.

The de­part­ment’s budget re­quest will be re­leased March 4, as part of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s budget, and the sec­ret­ary is ex­pec­ted to of­fer a pre­view Monday. Hagel and oth­er top De­fense of­fi­cials have largely sidestepped ques­tions about what spend­ing they are ask­ing to have in­creased — or what pro­grams to cut.

“Of course, it’s go­ing to shift the pro­pri­et­ies and the bal­ance of forces, and where you in­vest your money to be able to en­sure read­i­ness for your forces, cap­ab­il­ity, “¦ and ca­pa­city,” Hagel said.

The De­fense De­part­ment, he said, is in a time of trans­ition, deal­ing with a budget crunch and ad­just­ing its fo­cus as it wraps up ma­jor U.S. troop in­volve­ment in two wars.

Of­fi­cials pre­vi­ously said they would re­quest $542 bil­lion for the up­com­ing fisc­al year, but Decem­ber’s budget agree­ment put base spend­ing for the Pentagon at about $498 bil­lion.

Fund­ing aside, the de­part­ment’s in­creased fo­cus on cy­ber doesn’t come without its own road bumps, Hagel said.

“One of the com­plic­a­tions we have is there’s a line “¦ between the private sec­tor and the De­fense De­part­ment,” the sec­ret­ary said, while ac­know­ledging that the de­part­ment already has a “tre­mend­ous ca­pa­city” to deal with the grow­ing cy­ber threat.

It’s not the first time Hagel has soun­ded the alarm on DOD’s in­creased fo­cus on cy­ber, and he’s not alone. De­fense of­fi­cials called cy­ber­at­tacks the greatest threat to na­tion­al se­cur­ity in a De­fense News Lead­er­ship poll re­leased earli­er this year.

And FBI Dir­ect­or James Comey, then-act­ing Home­land Se­cur­ity Sec­ret­ary Rand Beers, and Mat­thew Olsen, the dir­ect­or the Na­tion­al Coun­terter­ror­ism Cen­ter, pressed the Sen­ate Home­land Se­cur­ity and Gov­ern­ment­al Af­fairs Com­mit­tee for great­er co­oper­a­tion between the gov­ern­ment and cor­por­a­tions on boost­ing cy­ber­se­cur­ity.

Al­though the White House re­leased guidelines to help busi­nesses de­fend them­selves earli­er this month, they’re vol­un­tary, and it’s un­clear how much the ad­min­is­tra­tion can do to en­force the stand­ards without le­gis­la­tion from Con­gress.

Hagel’s com­ments came dur­ing a wide-ran­ging Q&A at Con­greg­a­tion Beth El in Beth­esda, Md., on Tues­day night; the ses­sion is part of the syn­agogue’s “Con­ver­sa­tions with Key Amer­ic­an Lead­ers” series with Ken Fein­berg, an at­tor­ney who over­saw the 9/11 Vic­tim Com­pens­a­tion Fund.

What We're Following See More »
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
18 hours ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
19 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
“BLOWING A SURE THING”
Sabato Moves Alabama to “Lean Democrat”
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login