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USCYBERCOM’s JTF-Ares to Focus on Nation-State Actors, Great Power Competition

US Cyber Command

USCYBERCOM’s JTF-Ares to Focus on Nation-State Actors, Great Power Competition

The U.S. Cyber Command is shifting the priorities of its Joint Task Force-Ares to combat today’s threats.

The majority of JTF-Ares will shift its focus from conducting counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State group to battling nation-state actors. The move to shift the team’s focus comes amid nation-state actors’ increasing development of cyber and information-related capabilities.

The task force will also focus on backing the U.S. in the great power competition, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, C4ISRNET reported.

Much focus is being given to the Indo-Pacific region, with the Department of Defense singling out China as a pacing threat. The region is described as the epicenter of the great power competition with China, which is involved in territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

In written testimony to Congress, USCYBERCOM Commander Gen. Paul Nakasone said that for the rest of the year, the combatant command will focus on great power competition and work closely with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

David Frederick, executive director of USCYBERCOM, also stated that the command is committed to supporting the USINDOPACOM commander and DOD’s strategy against China.

As JTF-Ares shifts gears, it will continue its engagements with the USINDOPACOM and the Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command.

The task force will also coordinate with the 10th Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command, the operating force responsible for cyber operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

A spokesperson clarified that neither the command-and-control relationships nor organizational cyber mission force elements of the task force will be changed.

Category: Cybersecurity