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Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee - US Strategic Command and US Cyber Command


Location: Washington, DC

Good morning. Today we begin our annual posture hearings with the combatant commands by receiving testimony from the U.S. Strategic Command and the U.S. Cyber Command, a sub-unified command of the U.S. Strategic Command. Let me welcome Admiral Cecil Haney, in his first appearance before the committee as the Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, and General Keith Alexander, in his final appearance before the committee as Commander of U.S. Cyber Command. General Alexander also serves as the Director of the National Security Agency and when he retires at the end of next month he will by far be the longest serving NSA Director in history. We thank you both for your service.

This hearing comes at a time of reduced budgets across the U.S. Government, including the Department of Defense. Even though this hearing comes in advance of the 2015 budget request, we will want to hear from our witnesses about the impact the overall budget situation and the expected 2015 budget submission are likely to have on the programs and operations under their oversight and direction.

Admiral Haney, I hope you will address the full range of issues impacting Strategic Command today, including the status of our nuclear deterrent; the impact of the recent ICBM cheating scandal; any potential efficiencies and cost savings that could reduce the $156 billion that DOD projects it will need to maintain and recapitalize our nuclear triad over the coming decade; steps that may be needed to ensure that we can protect or reconstitute our space assets in any future conflict; and concerns about the adequacy of DOD's future access to communications spectrum as pressure builds to shift more and more spectrum to commercial use.

For most of the last year, General Alexander has been at the center of both the crisis over the loss of intelligence sources and methods from the Snowden leaks and the controversy over aspects of the intelligence activities established after 9/11 to address the terrorist threat.

We look forward to hearing your views about the changes to the NSA collection programs directed by the President; the impact on the military of the Snowden leaks; the capability of the personnel that the military services are making available for their new cyber units; the services' ability to manage the careers of their growing cadre of cyber specialists; and steps that can be taken to ensure that the Reserve Components are effectively integrated into the Department's cyber mission.

In addition, I hope you will provide us with your analysis of the Chinese campaign to steal the intellectual property from U.S. businesses. The committee has almost completed a report on cyber intrusions into the networks of some of the defense contractors on whom DOD may rely to conduct operations. I hope that you will give us your assessment as to whether China has shown signs of altering its cyber behavior subsequent to Mandiant Corporation's exposure of the operations of one of its military cyber units.

Senator Inhofe.

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