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Report: U.S. Cyber Command and NSA Leader Gen. Nakasone May Step Down This Summer

Military's top cyber commander presently remains focused on current mission, command states. Unclear if he will retire or take new role.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, may step down from his top positions at Cyber Command, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Security Service in August or September, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter. He assumed these commands in May 2018. 

“General Nakasone serves at the pleasure of the President. He remains focused on leading U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency and Central Security Service in their critical missions to safeguard the nation,” a Cyber Command spokesperson told SIGNAL Media. 

It is unclear from media reports whether the four-star general will assume a new role or retire. 

Gen. Nakasone received media attention recently for countering foreign interference with elections in the U.S. and aiding cyber warfare efforts in Ukraine.  

During a recent interview with SIGNAL Media he emphasized the importance of working jointly with actors beyond his command. 

“We need partnerships because partnerships give us scale, partnerships give us capacity, partnerships give us capability. It’s a tremendous future ahead of us,” Gen. Nakasone said.

An advocate of securing the democratic process, he recently told SIGNAL Media: “Just in the recent midterm elections of 2022, being able to identify—unclassified—the top 20 vulnerabilities that the Chinese use, this is the type of intelligence that drives action, with everyone able to see it. And I think, you know, that’s a change in the way that we do business.” 

Addressing help for partners and allies in need, Gen. Nakasone recently said at the AFCEA Technet Cyber conference, “Our response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine is an example of how our focus, alignment and readiness significantly impacted the resilience of our partners and allies.” 

The media reports appeared amid a leak of classified documents about allies and adversaries that described how the U.S. government spied on allies and had private reservations about the war in Ukraine.

Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guard airman, was arrested and charged with violating the Espionage Act and mishandling of classified information.

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