Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that he has ordered cyber attacks targeting the Islamic State.
The Pentagon’s US Cyber Command, which will now broaden its role to participate in the fight against ISIS, according to Carter, has been tasked to launch the attacks, the department’s first mission since it was established in 2009.
“As we and our coalition partners have taken the fight to ISIL both in it’s parent tumor in Iraq and Syria, and where it has been metastasizing. Our combatant commanders from Central Command, European Command, Africa Command, Special Operations Command have, have had to coordinate efforts more than ever before,” Carter said, at an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The event was entitled “Breaking new ground: Preparing the Department of Defense for the future with Secretary Ash Carter.
“Increasingly, I’ve also brought Strategic Command and Cyber Command in these operations, as well to leverage their unique capabilities in space and cyber to contribute to the defeat of ISIL.”
Cyber Command’s goals will include interrupting ISIS’s “ability to command their forces,” to obstruct their finances and “their ability to pay people,” Carter said.
Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the ‘secretive’ Cyber Command established in 2009, said in a Senate hearing Tuesday that the department now employs 4,900 people after increased investments in Cyber Command operations over the last two years, and is “thinking more strategically about shifting our response-planning from fighting a war to also providing decision makers with options to deter and forestall a conflict before it begins.”