New Unified Combatant Command 'will strengthen our cyberspace operations'

President Donald Trump has approved a long-delayed Pentagon plan to separate the U.S. Cyber Command from the National Security Agency (NSA) in order to step up operations against cyber threats.

"I have directed that United States Cyber Command be elevated to the status of a Unified Combatant Command focused on cyberspace operations," Trump said in a written statement without mentioning who would serve as commander of the organization.

"This new Unified Combatant Command will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation's defense," he said.

"The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries."

The goal of separating Cyber Command from the NSA, which monitors and collects phone, internet and other intelligence data around the globe, is a responsibility that can sometimes clash with military operations against enemy forces.

Last year, former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter sent a proposal to then-President Barack Obama to make Cyber Command an independent military headquarters and separate it from the NSA.

At the time, Carter believed the NSA's desire to collect intelligence was preventing the military from eliminating the Daesh terror group’s ability to raise money, inspire attacks and command its widely dispersed network of fighters, according to the Associated Press.

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