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Sunday, May 21, 2017

President Trump Delivers First Speech Overseas At Middle East Anti-Terrorism Summit

May 21, 2017
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia


I want to thank King Salman for his extraordinary words, and the magnificent Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting today's summit. I am honored to be received by such gracious hosts. I have always heard about the splendor of your country and the kindness of your citizens, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place and the incredible hospitality you have shown us from the moment we arrived.

You also hosted me in the treasured home of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the Kingdom who united your great people. Working alongside another beloved leader-American President Franklin Roosevelt-King Abdulaziz began the enduring partnership between our two countries. King Salman: your father would be so proud to see that you are continuing his legacy-and just as he opened the first chapter in our partnership, today we begin a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to our citizens.

Let me now also extend my deep and heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of the distinguished heads of state who made this journey here today. You greatly honor us with your presence, and I send the warmest regards from my country to yours. I know that our time together will bring many blessings to both your people and mine.
I stand before you as a representative of the American People, to deliver a message of friendship and hope. That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic Faith.

In my inaugural address to the American People, I pledged to strengthen America's oldest friendships, and to build new partnerships in pursuit of peace. I also promised that America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust.

Our vision is one of peace, security, and prosperity-in this region, and in the world. Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.

And so this historic and unprecedented gathering of leaders-unique in the history of nations-is a symbol to the world of our shared resolve and our mutual respect. To the leaders and citizens of every country assembled here today, I want you to know that the United States is eager to form closer bonds of friendship, security, culture and commerce.

For Americans, this is an exciting time. A new spirit of optimism is sweeping our country: in just a few months, we have created almost a million new jobs, added over 3 trillion dollars of new value, lifted the burdens on American industry, and made record investments in our military that will protect the safety of our people and enhance the security of our wonderful friends and allies-many of whom are here today.

Now, there is even more blessed news I am pleased to share with you. My meetings with King Salman, the Crown Prince, and the Deputy Crown Prince, have been filled with great warmth, good will, and tremendous cooperation. Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.

This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase-and we will be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defense companies. This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a greater role in security operations.

We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond.
Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology-located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World.

This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.

I have had the pleasure of welcoming several of the leaders present today to the White House, and I look forward to working with all of you.
America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture-we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership-based on shared interests and values-to pursue a better future for us all.

Here at this summit we will discuss many interests we share together. But above all we must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history's great test-to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.
Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.

With God's help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East-and maybe, even all over the world.

But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.

Few nations have been spared its violent reach.
America has suffered repeated barbaric attacks-from the atrocities of September 11th to the devastation of the Boston Bombing, to the horrible killings in San Bernardino and Orlando.

The nations of Europe have also endured unspeakable horror. So too have the nations of Africa and even South America. India, Russia, China and Australia have been victims.

But, in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.

Some estimates hold that more than 95 percent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.

We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure.

The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.

The Middle East is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and massive amounts of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.
This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock.

Saudi Arabia is home to the holiest sites in one of the world's great faiths. Each year millions of Muslims come from around the world to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj. In addition to ancient wonders, this country is also home to modern ones-including soaring achievements in architecture.
Egypt was a thriving center of learning and achievement thousands of years before other parts of the world. The wonders of Giza, Luxor and Alexandria are proud monuments to that ancient heritage.

All over the world, people dream of walking through the ruins of Petra in Jordan. Iraq was the cradle of civilization and is a land of natural beauty. And the United Arab Emirates has reached incredible heights with glass and steel, and turned earth and water into spectacular works of art.

The entire region is at the center of the key shipping lanes of the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Straits of Hormuz. The potential of this region has never been greater. 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. Like all young men and women, they seek great futures to build, great national projects to join, and a place for their families to call home.

But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.
Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.

If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.

If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing-then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.
This is a battle between Good and Evil.

When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims-we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy.

But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong-and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.

Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land.

America is prepared to stand with you-in pursuit of shared interests and common security.

But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.

It is a choice between two futures-and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.

A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and


For our part, America is committed to adjusting our strategies to meet evolving threats and new facts. We will discard those strategies that have not worked-and will apply new approaches informed by experience and judgment. We are adopting a Principled Realism, rooted in common values and shared interests.

Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes - not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms - not sudden intervention.

We must seek partners, not perfection-and to make allies of all who share our goals.

Above all, America seeks peace-not war.

Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion.
The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil.

Many are already making significant contributions to regional security: Jordanian pilots are crucial partners against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and a regional coalition have taken strong action against Houthi militants in Yemen. The Lebanese Army is hunting ISIS operatives who try to infiltrate their territory. Emirati troops are supporting our Afghan partners. In Mosul, American troops are supporting Kurds, Sunnis and Shias fighting together for their homeland. Qatar, which hosts the U.S. Central Command, is a crucial strategic partner. Our longstanding partnership with Kuwait and Bahrain continue to enhance security in the region. And courageous Afghan soldiers are making tremendous sacrifices in the fight against the Taliban, and others, in the fight for their country.

As we deny terrorist organizations control of territory and populations, we must also strip them of their access to funds. We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements.

I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center - co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered.

I also applaud the Gulf Cooperation Council for blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization last year. Saudi Arabia also joined us this week in placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hezbollah.

Of course, there is still much work to do.

That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory - piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don't kill innocents; they save them. Many nations here today have taken important steps to raise up that message. Saudi Arabia's Vision for 2030 is an important and encouraging statement of tolerance, respect, empowering women, and economic development.

The United Arab Emirates has also engaged in the battle for hearts and souls-and with the U.S., launched a center to counter the online spread of hate. Bahrain too is working to undermine recruitment and radicalism.

I also applaud Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees. The surge of migrants and refugees leaving the Middle East depletes the human capital needed to build stable societies and economies. Instead of depriving this region of so much human potential, Middle Eastern countries can give young people hope for a brighter future in their home nations and regions.

That means promoting the aspirations and dreams of all citizens who seek a better life-including women, children, and followers of all faiths. Numerous Arab and Islamic scholars have eloquently argued that protecting equality strengthens Arab and Muslim communities.

For many centuries the Middle East has been home to Christians, Muslims and Jews living side-by-side. We must practice tolerance and respect for each other once again-and make this region a place where every man and woman, no matter their faith or ethnicity, can enjoy a life of dignity and hope.

In that spirit, after concluding my visit in Riyadh, I will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and then to the Vatican-visiting many of the holiest places in the three Abrahamic Faiths. If these three faiths can join together in cooperation, then peace in this world is possible - including peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I will be meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.
But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three-safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.

From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

Among Iran's most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime-launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.

Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime's longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders' reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.
Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.

The decisions we make will affect countless lives.

King Salman, I thank you for the creation of this great moment in history, and for your massive investment in America, its industry and its jobs. I also thank you for investing in the future of this part of the world.

This fertile region has all the ingredients for extraordinary success - a rich history and culture, a young and vibrant people, a thriving spirit of enterprise. But you can only unlock this future if the citizens of the Middle East are freed from extremism, terror and violence.

We in this room are the leaders of our peoples. They look to us for answers, and for action. And when we look back at their faces, behind every pair of eyes is a soul that yearns for justice.

Today, billions of faces are now looking at us, waiting for us to act on the great question of our time.

Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring-more suffering and despair. But if we act-if we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world-then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have.

The birthplace of civilization is waiting to begin a new renaissance. Just imagine what tomorrow could bring.

Glorious wonders of science, art, medicine and commerce to inspire humankind. Great cities built on the ruins of shattered towns. New jobs and industries that will lift up millions of people. Parents who no longer worry for their children, families who no longer mourn for their loved ones, and the faithful who finally worship without fear.

These are the blessings of prosperity and peace. These are the desires that burn with a righteous flame in every human heart. And these are the just demands of our beloved peoples.

I ask you to join me, to join together, to work together, and to FIGHT together-BECAUSE UNITED, WE WILL NOT FAIL.

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless Your Countries. And God Bless the United States of America.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

PERSPECTIVE: How the Mainstream Media Is Distorting The Firing of FBI Director James Comey

May 13, 2017

Scott Anthony

I won't go and re-litigate the facts surrounding why FBI Director James Comey was terminated by President Trump this past week as it is simply a pointless exercise.  The fact remains that the FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the President, and regardless of the path taken by President Trump to make the decision to pull the trigger on James Comey, that bullet has long since left the chamber.

What is a more disturbing, albeit humorous, side note to the news of the #1 Chief Investigator being terminated, was the frantic calls of "foul play" from Democrats such as Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren making public spectacles of themselves all while ignoring some very basic realities.  Yes, there was an alleged open investigation about "Russian Meddling" into the 2016 Presidential Elections, and allegedly James Comey would have pretty solid knowledge about such investigations. However, what Americans writ large saw in the week prior to Mr. Comey's termination, was sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee whereby Mr. Comey didn't appear to be all that informed on much of, well, anything.  So much so, that the FBI was forced to provide "corrected testimony" to the Committee due to blatantly inaccurate statements made by Mr. Comey.

So for the sake of putting the events of last week into perspective, let's assume that there is an investigation into the Trump Campaign and "Russia" (whatever that really means, since, as we all well know, there has been little, if any, factual evidence of wrongdoing aside from a few failures of disclosures by NSC Director Gen. M. Flynn and Attorney General Sessions, neither of which were crimes).

Assuming the above statement is true, which it is, then what is the actual fallout from terminating the FBI Director during such an investigation?  Let's examine a few facts about the FBI and the U.S. Intelligence Community in general as it pertains to the "Russia / Trump Campaign Collusion" Investigation:

-  The FBI is part of the Intelligence Community along with 17 Total Agencies

-  The FBI is a small sub-set of the overall Intelligence Community.

-  The FBI's The Counterintelligence Division (CD) prevents and investigates foreign intelligence activities within the U.S. and espionage activities in the U.S. and overseas. 

-  The FBI Director is not likely involved directly in "hands-on" investigation activities.

- The FBI has over 13,000 career Special Agents.

-  The FBI is / was working in tandem with the NSA and the CIA as well as the ODNI in the "Russia" investigation.

-  There are thousands more career Agents / Investigators in the NSA, CIA, ODNI as well as the other branches of the Intelligence Community.

Source:  Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

Knowing the above facts is imperative when attempting to formulate an informed opinion as to whether or not the firing of one person, FBI Director James Comey, would have any impact at all, on any potential ongoing investigation into the "Trump Campaign & Potential Russian Collusion."  This is not to downplay the significance of losing a competent FBI Director, as it is imperative that the United States has an impervious, steadfast and ethical Director at the helm of our Nation's prestigious Law Enforcement Agency.  However, that said, it is important to not lose sight on the bigger picture;  the Intelligence Community writ large, is more than just one person, or one Agency.  To think otherwise is to have a very limited, and uneducated point of view when it comes to the scope, task management and overall operations of our Intelligence Community.  

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the termination of FBI Director Comey, it is insulting to the thousands of career Law Enforcement Agents, Investigators, Prosecutors, Operatives, Analysts, Attorneys, Officers, or other career personnel, the overwhelming majority of whom have devoted their lives to protect our American Values, maintain our National Security and intercept nefarious entities seeking to do us harm, to oversimplify and whittle down any valid investigation to the holdings of only one specific person.  It simply doesn't work that way.  In my opinion, I have to question the media's spin on James Comey's termination as merely President Trump's way of "stonewalling" the aforementioned "Russian Collusion" investigation as it pertains to the Trump Campaign of 2016.  

Quite simply put, the mainstream media is lying to the American public, it is doing a deplorable disservice to those in the Intelligence Community who may very well be seeking to get at the truth of any Russian interference in our Election process, and it is the media, along with James Comey's affinity for seeking out media air-time, that has perpetuated this long-standing myth that President Trump (or his campaign and/or his surrogates) purposely and knowingly committed crimes under any of our National Security laws, up to and including espionage or treason.  The reason for this is simple;  no one single person holds the keys for any valid investigation.  If you step back and look at this through very scientific goggles on, you will be able to see right through the media smoke and mirrors tricks they are using to get you to believe that the President of the United States firing one person could ever effectively stop a valid investigation.  Think of it this way:

-  If the Chief of a Fire Department gets terminated, do fire alarms simply go unanswered allowing city fires to burn ragingly out of control?  Or do fires still get put out by career (or volunteer) fire fighters?

-  If the Chief of a Police Department gets terminated, do all criminal investigations, traffic enforcement or civil disturbance calls go unanswered?  Or do all of these functions continue to be responded to appropriately?

- If the CEO of a Hospital gets terminated, do all aspects of the healthcare facility suddenly stop?  Or do patients continue to receive the healthcare they were getting the day before?  Do life-saving surgeries immediately cease upon hearing the news that the Hospital CEO is terminated, or do professional healthcare providers continue their jobs, as they have been trained and licensed to do regardless of who is running the facility?

-  If the Superintendent of a School System is terminated, do classes suddenly stop?  Or do teachers and students continue to show up for school like they do every day, and proceed with the educational process as scheduled?

-  If a General in the Military is terminated, does every soldier simply pack up their gatherings and go home?  Or do they continue their missions or assignments as they have been trained to do?

-  If the President of the United States is terminated (impeached) does the Nation just surrender to complete Anarchy or outside invaders?  Or do we continue on with a system of checks and balances as well as a fail-safe system in place to ensure that we do not crumble into complete and utter chaos?

In a system as complex and important as our Intelligence Community, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, we have multiple layers of fail-safes, continuity and convergence of operations.  The media would like every American to believe that the firing of one person, the FBI Director, is somehow the "end" or at least a major chilling component to the ongoing investigation on Russia and our 2016 Elections.  But a smart, critical-thinker, knows that this is merely a farce and is an attempt to smear our President.  Investigations, particularly ones that involve several facets of our Intelligence Community, are not going to stop simply due to the replacement of one person.  If that were the case, then we as a Country, would need to demand a complete overhaul of our Criminal Justice System (we need one anyway, but not for that particular reason).  

Quite simply put, the media has proven time and again that it is simply unable, or unwilling, to report critical information in a non-partisan, fair or thorough manner.  Omitting facts to push a particular narrative or agenda is called propaganda, and that is what we are witnessing with the vast majority of our News Media outlets.  I have reviewed the major news outlet's coverage of the termination of James Comey, and what I read or observed simply screamed of over-simplification, fear-mongering and propaganda.  This is also to say nothing of the fact that our elected representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives have their own ongoing investigations into any possible Russia / Trump Campaign connections.

We allow ourselves to be victimized by the Media Moguls daily as they pervert straight-forward facts into propagandized narratives that are best suited for the fiction section of a library instead of the news.  Yes there are times where one person can make a difference or influence the direction of an investigation such as when James Comey overstepped his lawful authority to actually present evidence to the US Attorney General or a Grand Jury regarding actual known cases of espionage in the case of Hillary Clinton and her criminal crime syndicate.  However, the vast majority of Americans following that case were able to make the distinction and while Clinton may have escaped criminal prosecution (at least for now) she also escaped securing the power and prestige of the White House.  So even then, one person, the same person, James Comey, was not able to stop the inevitable outcome of facts.  Checks and balances continued on, and the court of public opinion won in the end at the ballot box.

Friday, May 12, 2017

11 Times President Obama Attacked Journalism / Free Speech: Radical Left Conveniently Forgets The Recent Past

May 12, 2017
While the Alt-Left attack dogs are out in full-force against President Trump, and while they are all foaming at the mouth regarding President Trump's recent tweets indicating that the White House should cancel further Press Briefings and simply provide written statements for accuracy, it would behoove  those who are calling Trump a "fascist" to take a trip down memory-lane.  It was under the previous Administration where Journalism and the American Free Press was truly under attack.  
President Trump Tweets:  May 12, 2017

Below is a list that was compiled nicely (citations below) and provides the facts of what President Barack Obama did to Journalists or their employers who were merely trying to provide fair coverage for the American public for which they serve.
1. Campaign plane “hijacking” journalists. In 2008, the Obama campaign flew 25 members of the media to Chicago — without telling them then-Sen. Obama was not, in fact, on board. CNN reported: “[T]he press was essentially held hostage with no candidate and no choice but to fly to Chicago on a chartered plane.”
2. Closing White House events to all but the official photographer. Obama barred the media from events — including, ironically, an award ceremony where he was recognized for “transparency” — and often restricted photographers’ access, only releasing images taken by the official White House photographer.
3. Trying to shut out Fox News. The Obama administration targeted Fox News for isolation and marginalization, arguing that it was not a legitimate news organization but “the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” That served as a warning to other potentially critical outlets.
4. Stonewalling FOIA requests. The Obama administration “set a record” for failing to provide information requested by the press and the public under the Freedom of Information Act. The low point was Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, where tens of thousands of emails were hidden on a private server and deleted.
5. Prosecuting journalists and their sources. The Obama administration pursuedFox News reporter James Rosen’s private emails — then misled Congress about it. CNN’s Jake Tapper — to his credit — pointed out that Obama had used the Espionage Act against leakers more than all of his predecessors combined.
6. Wiretapping the Associated Press. After the Obama administration’s snooping on the AP was exposed in 2013, a senior NBC correspondent excused President Obama on the grounds that he would not have been nasty enough to alienate “one of the president’s most important constituencies, the press.”
7. Refusing to hold press conferences. For long stretches of his presidency, Obama refused to hold press conferences at all, going 10 months without a formal press conference in a critical stretch from 2009 to 2010. He heeled the lowest average annual number of press conferences of any president since Ronald Reagan.
8. Filibustering at press conferences. When Obama did, finally, hold press conference, he often limited the number of questions by delivering long, rambling, often condescending answers. He “wastes reporters’ time by refraining from answering questions with any candor,” Jack Shafer complained in Politico in 2016.
9. Attacking tough questions. When a Major Garrett of CBS actually asked a tough question — about why the administration seemed not to be trying hard to free Americans held by Iran, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian — Obama scolded him: “Major, that’s nonsense, and you should know better.”
10. Appearing on fringe outlets. While media elites gripe about conservative journalists being given a chance, Obama often restricted his appearances to fringe media: Inside Edition; Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns (which was then nominated for an Emmy); YouTube stars; and a radio show called “Pimp with a Limp.”
11. Iran deal “echo chamber.” The Obama administration created “fake news” to support the Iran deal, setting up what it later boasted was an “echo chamber” of “experts” who would comment in the media to support the White House narrative on the negotiations. Meanwhile, key details were hidden from the public.

List compiled by: Breitbart

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Admiral Michael Rogers Testifies Before Senate Armed Services Committee: Cyber-Threats Remain Ongoing




9 MAY 2017

Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, and Members of the Committee, thank you for your enduring support and the opportunity today to represent the hard-working men and women of United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). I welcome the opportunity to describe how USCYBERCOM leads Department of Defense (DoD) efforts in the cyberspace domain and supports the nation’s defense against sophisticated and powerful adversaries.

The Department of Defense recognized seven years ago that the nation needed a military command focused on cyberspace. USCYBERCOM and its subordinate elements have been given the responsibility to direct, operate, and secure the Department’s systems and networks, which are fundamental to the execution of all DoD missions. The Department and the nation also rely on us to build ready cyber forces and to be prepared to employ them when significant cyber-attacks against the nation require DoD support.

USCYBERCOM has been a sub-unified command under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) since its creation in 2010. The command includes six operational-level headquarter elements, assisted by U.S. Coast Guard Cyber, a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). USCYBERCOM’s action arm is the Cyber Mission Force (CMF), which comprises 133 teams and is continuing to build to a total of approximately 6,200 military and civilian personnel. All of those CMF teams reached at least initial operational capability in 2016. Many have attained full operational capability (FOC), and I expect all of them will attain FOC status by 1 October 2018, just 15 months from now.

I want to update you on our initiatives and plans for that time to come. Our three lines of operations are to provide mission assurance for DoD operations and defend the Department of Defense information environment; to support joint force commander objectives globally; and to deter or defeat strategic threats to U.S. interests and critical infrastructure. We conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations to enable actions in all domains, ensure US and Allied freedom of action in cyberspace, and deny the same to our adversaries. I have asked that our Command and its components focus their efforts in several areas to ensure we can accomplish missions, both now and in the future. Defense of DoD information networks remains our top priority, of course, and will move this beyond a network focus to one that includes weapon systems/platforms and data. We will also continue progress on the CMF build and attainment of FOC for all teams, while increasing the CMF’s readiness and its ability to hold targets at risk. We will posture the CMF to deliver effects across all phases of operations; to improve operational outcomes by increasing resilience, speed, agility, and precision; to generate operational outcomes that support DoD strategy and priorities; to create a model for successful Reserve and National Guard integration in cyberspace operations; and finally to strengthen partnerships across the government, with our allies, and with the private sector.
Your strong and continuing support is critical to the success of the Department in defending our national security interests, especially as we comply with the recent National Defense Authorization Act directive to elevate USCYBERCOM to unified combatant command status. As you well know, I serve as both Commander of USCYBERCOM and Director of the National Security Agency and Chief, Central Security Service (NSA/CSS). This dual-hat” appointment underpins the close partnership between USCYBERCOM and NSA/CSSsignificant benefit in cyberspace operations. The institutional arrangement for providing that support, however, may evolve as USCYBERCOM grows to full proficiency in the future, as I shall explain below.

The Cyber Threat Environment

The pace of international conflict and cyberspace threats has intensified over the past few years. We face a growing variety of advanced threats from actors who are operating with ever more sophistication and precision. At USCYBERCOM we track state and non-state adversaries as they continue to expand their capabilities to advance their interests in and through cyberspace and try to undermine the United Statesnational interests and those of our allies.

America faces multiple challenges from non-state cyberspace actors who impact our citizens and our economy, which now depends on trusted data. For instance, over the last year we have seen increased use of ransomware against individuals and businesses who find their data locked and are forced to pay in order to regain control of their files and intellectual property. Such threats primarily fall under the jurisdiction of law enforcement authorities, particularly the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service. Nevertheless, criminal actors become a military concern when malicious state cyber actors pose as cyber criminals, or when cyber criminals support state efforts in cyberspace. This means that we take notice when cybercriminals employ tactics, techniques and procedures used by state adversaries.

My main concern relates to state-based cyber actors, whose malicious activities have only intensified since I spoke to this Committee last year. As we have seen, cyber-enabled destructive and disruptive attacks now have the potential to affect the property, rights, and daily lives of Americans. We are particularly concerned as adversaries probe and even exploit systems used by government, law enforcement, military, intelligence, and critical infrastructure in the United States and abroad. We have seen states seeking to shape the policies and attitudes of democratic peoples, and we are convinced such behavior will continue for as long as autocratic regimes believe they have more to gain than to lose by challenging their opponents in cyberspace.

At the operational level of conflict, states are incorporating cyber effects to support their military operations. As early as 2008, for instance, the Russian incursion in Georgia was accompanied by a denial-of-service attack against Georgia’s government Internet services as well as the defacement of content on official web pages. We are not yet seeing true, combined- arms operations between cyber units and “kinetic” missions, although we have spotted hints of this occurring in Syria and Ukraine as the Russians attempt to boost the capabilities and successes of their clients and proxies. In general, these and other conflicts feature cyber operations by all sides; Russian government sites, for example, have sporadically been attacked by sympathizers from Ukraine. Advanced states continue to demonstrate the ability to combine cyber effects, intelligence, and asymmetric warfare to maintain the initiative just short of war, challenging our ability to react and respond. Further, states clearly continue to leverage cyberspace to conduct significant, widespread, intelligence operations. Access to large volumes of data enable Insider threats; defending against these is a critical requirement of the current and future landscape.

U.S. Cyber Command has seen indications that several states are investing military resources in mining the networks of the Department of Defense and its contractors. On a daily basis, state cyber actors coordinate and execute exploits and scans of the DoD Information Networks (what we now call the DoDIN) as well as related governmental and private systems. These activities are often automated, and they can include well-crafted spear-phishing expeditions. We assess that the motivation behind these efforts is predominantly espionage, but the mere possibility that an adversary might establish a persistent presence in DoD networks is always a grave concern; such intrusions, when they occur, are quite disruptive and expensive to remediate.

A still-greater concern is the persistence of adversary attempts to penetrate critical infrastructure and the systems that control these services. We assess that several countries, including Iran, have conducted disruptions or remote intrusions into critical infrastructure systems in the United States. Last year, for example, the Justice Department announced indictments of seven Iranians for cyber disruptions of U.S. financial institutions. The Attorney General reported that 46 U.S. companies together suffered tens of millions of dollars in losses as a result of the attacks. In addition, in late 2015 a malware tool (Black Energy) identified in energy-sector systems worldwide was implicated in a malicious cyber attack against Ukrainian power systems. The Department of Homeland Security has been warning systems administrators at critical infrastructure sites in the United States and abroad about sophisticated cyber threats from malicious actors employing Black Energy. In December 2015, the cyber actors who had deployed Black Energy in Ukraine briefly cut off electricity to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, possibly in support of Moscow’s aims in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Infiltrations in US critical infrastructurewhen viewed in the light of incidents like thesecan look like preparations for future attacks that could be intended to harm Americans, or at least to deter the United States and other countries from protecting and defending our vital interests.

Violent extremist organizations constitute another focus for USCYBERCOM. For over a decade, they have used the Internet to publicize their malicious actions to intimidate opponents and win sympathizers. As we know from the reporting and analysis of respected journalists and think tanks, groups like ISIS conduct sophisticated multi-media campaigns that spread its messages swiftly and globally. While ISIS uses the Internet to recruit followers and solicit contributions in the West, its media campaign also effects viewers closer to home in the Middle East, boosting morale among ISIS fighters, frightening opponents, and promoting the false narrative that the Arab future inevitably belongs to a radical Salafist brand of Sunni fundamentalism. This information campaign through cyberspace has directly and indirectly impacted Americans, inciting attacks on Americans and the citizens of our European allies, who have suffered even worse assaults than we have seen here. Legitimate Internet media outlets obviously have no interest in lending social spotlights to terrorists by hosting violence or propaganda material, and regularly remove these messages and advertisements when they spot them (or the content is brought to the companies’ attention). Yet ISIS is resilient and persistent, and continues to spread its message. In addition, ISIS and other violent extremists communicate over encrypted channels to maintain command and control of their operatives and forces.

Examples like these foretell an uncertain future. Several trends could complicate it still further, like the growing “Internet of Things” providing millions of new Internet-connected devices for adversaries to exploit. Today, consumers who can hardly keep up with patching their laptops and updating their cellphone operating systems are wondering how to upgrade the firmware on their home security cameras or Wi-Fi extenders to keep their families and homes from being victimized by malicious cyber actors. Technological developments are outpacing laws and policies, and indeed will have long-term implications that we have only begun to grasp.

US Cyber Command in Operation

Hardly a day has gone by during my tenure at USCYBERCOM that we have not seen at least one significant cyber security event occurring somewhere in the world. This has consequences for our military and our nation at large. I want to reiterate what I told this Committee last year: every conflict around the world now has a cyber dimension. “Cyber war” is not some future concept or cinematic spectacle, it is real and here to stay. The fact that it is not killing people yet, or causing widespread destruction, should be no comfort to us as we survey the threat landscape. Conflict in the cyber domain is not simply a continuation of kinetic operations by digital means, nor is it some Science Fiction clash of robot armies. It is unfolding according to its own logic, which we are continuing to better understand. We are using this understanding to enhance the Department’s situational awareness and manage risk. In light of this trend, I am convinced that we as a nation created our own military capability in cyberspace not a moment too early. Our government and military have gone from wondering whether we have a systemic computer security problem to recognizing that the problem can spread in seconds.

Let me explain how our Department of Defense cyberspace capability has progressed at USCYBERCOM over the last year. The Cyber Mission Force attained initial operational capability, with the last team reaching this milestone in October 2016. Our component commanders are moving out to ensure our people get training and certifications required to reach full operational capability for each CMF team. Achieving FOC, however, is not the ultimate goal. We must ensure the CMF also achieves and sustains a high level of readiness, just like any other military force.

My first mission priority as Commander of USCYBERCOM remains the defense of the DoD information network, which encompass millions of network devices, hundreds of thousands of users, well over ten thousand network enclaves, the data they carry, and the networked technology embedded in weapon systems and other operational platforms. Real-world defensive cyberspace operations have sharpened USCYBERCOM’s ability to detect, confine, and eradicate threats from DoD networks and systems. At the same time, adversary cyberspace operations have grown more sophisticated and assertive, resulting in intrusions that have strained the abilities and capacity of DoD cyber forces. With broad authorities to operate within DoD networks, USCYBERCOM has been able to experiment with operational models and tradecraft, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of defensive missions. Our techniques are being adopted and refined across the force, making intrusion response more predictable and effective. USCYBERCOM has improved DoD network defenses through the implementation of new authorities, innovative command and control structures, and operations informed by offensive planning and intelligence (particularly signals intelligence).

USCYBERCOM executes its DoDIN defense mission in part through Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs)the defense-focused forces within the CMF. These teams have real-world experience dealing with sophisticated intruders in DoD systems. The CPTs conduct internal defensive measures to protect key DoD terrain in cyberspace, coordinating with local defenders in the cybersecurity service providers, including those aligned to USCYBERCOM under Global Force Management guidance. The CPTs work with system owners, administrators, and local network defenders to find vulnerabilities and hunt for intruders inside DoD networks. This approach embodies the Department’s shift to an operational mindset. Should adversary activity be detected, CPTs track, confine, and expel malicious actors using time-tested doctrinal principles consistent with those employed in the other domains. CPTs share what they learn with other network defenders, offensive operations planners, and the Intelligence Community. USCYBERCOM’s continual efforts to adapt to the shifting threat environment have resulted in considerable gains to DoDIN security and resiliency.

In addition, as the operational sponsor of the Joint Information Environment (JIE), USCYBERCOM is working with partners to improve the security of the DoDIN. These efforts include implementation of Joint Regional Security Stack (JRSS) enterprise cybersecurity capabilities, integration of IT systems management into the cyberspace operations framework, and development of technical and operational frameworks that will enable establishment of comprehensive cybersecurity practices within DoD and mission partners.

The Defense Information Systems Agency serves as DoD’s “Internet service provider” and thus plays a vital role in securing and defending the DoDIN. Its director is dual-hatted as the commander of one of USCYBERCOM’s operational components, Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ)-DoDIN, which is tasked with directing and executing global DoDIN operations and defensive cyberspace operations. This component oversees the Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI) process in collaboration with local network administrators. CCRIs help JFHQ-DoDIN assess DoDIN systems for compliance with cybersecurity directives and USCYBERCOM orders; inspections thus support USCYBERCOM and DoD Chief Information Officer-led efforts to improve the Department’s cybersecurity accountability.

USCYBERCOM works with the Services, NSA and the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) to ensure the CPTs are optimally manned, trained, and equipped. This includes development and acquisition of new capabilities as technology advances; the building of realistic training environments; and resourcing and refining of new models for CPT deployment and operations. USCYBERCOM also seeks to enhance the Department’s situational awareness of the status of the DoDIN and adversary activities, to extend protection from the network level down to weapons systems, and to develop capabilities and common approaches for linking cybersecurity risk (beyond compliance) to mission assurance in order to inform warfighting decisions and mitigation efforts.
USCYBERCOM’s missions extend far beyond the defense of the DoDIN. In particular, the Command supports the geographical and functional combatant commands in their operations and missions. This is the business of the USCYBERCOM’s Cyber Combat Mission Force

The Cyber Combat Mission Force is the operational-level offensive forces of the CMF, comprising Combat Mission Teams (CMTs) and Combat Support Teams (CSTs), aligned to the Combatant Commands to support their execution of military operations. The CMTs and CSTs are manned, trained, and equipped by their parent services, which exercise oversight of the combat forces they generated through the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) associated with each Service cyber component.

USCYBERCOM is working to synchronize cyber planning and operations across the entire joint force. Since gaining the Secretary of Defense’s approval for this proposal in early 2016, USCYBERCOM has implemented a process to allocate limited CMF resources among the commands as “high-demand, low-density” military assets. Currently in implementation, this process will enable USCYBERCOM to balance national and operational-level priorities, enabling the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to guide the former through the Command in a crisis while providing tailored capacity forward to support the combatant commands when a situation moves towards actual conflict. USCYBERCOM is also helping the combatant commands build cyber effects into their planning processes so that cyberspace missions are synchronized with operations in the other domains. Indeed, in some situations, USCYBERCOM is the supported command.

Achieving Full Operational Capability in the Cyber Mission Force is our goal, but we acknowledge that reaching that milestone is only a capability metric and not a measure of overall readiness. CMF readiness is a shared responsibility between USCYBERCOM and the Services, and over the last 15 years of conflict we have recognized the costs of continuous operations and seen those costs grow the most in “high-demand, low-density” units – like our CMF teams. We employ teams before they are FOC, which is comparable to employing fighter squadrons before they are fully manned or equipped. Achieving and sustaining readiness is going to require a comprehensive set of solutions, ranging from an agreed upon readiness model between USCYBERCOM and the Services, to ensuring the manpower depth necessary to accommodate professional development, technical proficiency, and career predictability. I am confident we will achieve Full Operational Capability by our 30 September 2018 deadline, but I acknowledge that the true challenge will be sustaining the readiness of the CMF and the remarkable men and women who serve within the teams. We have a duty to them, and we must ensure that they are well trained, prepared, and mission-ready.

USCYBERCOM is executing its missions to support operations against violent extremists, especially across the US Central Command’s area of responsibility (and is helping US Special Operations Command’s efforts as well). About a year ago, Secretary Carter facilitated this support by issuing an execute order that, among other things, helped USCYBERCOM by authorizing us to “task organize” for specific missions expected to last weeks, months, or longer. The result of this change was a new organization, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Ares, established by me as the Commander of USCYBERCOM in the spring of 2016 to coordinate cyberspace operations against ISIS. JTF-Ares’ mission is to provide unity of command and effort for USCYBERCOM and coalition forces working to counter ISIS in cyberspace. The JTF model has helped USCYBERCOM to direct operations in support of USCENTCOM operations, and marks an evolution in the command-and-control structure in response to urgent operational needs.

JTF-Ares has helped strengthen unity of efforts against ISIS across international coalition and domestic partners, reinforcing USCYERCOM’s informal role as a hub for whole-of- government cyber planning and execution against terrorist organizations and targets. Cyber effects can be achieved at-scale and with remarkable synchronization when mission partners share plans, accesses, capabilities, and tactics in support of common objectives. USCYBERCOM, working with the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the various departments and agencies engaged in this campaign, is using opportunities such as the defeat- ISIS campaign to build trust among operational partners.

USCYBERCOM expects to make progress through 2018 in several key areas. The Command will complete the CMF build, work with DoD partners to equip the CMF, resource and refine command-and-control structures and processes, and develop policies, plans, and operational concepts that support national-level and joint warfighting needs. USCYBERCOM seeks with DoD and Intelligence Community partners to overcome organizational and technological challenges associated with supporting offensive operations at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Finally, USCYBERCOM will collaborate with allies and partners to enable collective defense and develop cyber “response actions” that provide options to decision makers from pre-crisis through kinetic operations across all phases of conflict.

Defending the nation in cyberspace is complex in both technical and policy terms. Like all Combatant Commands, USCYBERCOM is authorized only on order from the President (or the Secretary of Defense if the President is unavailable) to defend against a threat to the nation that would qualify as a “use of force” under international law. The Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) focuses on countering adversaries’ malicious cyber activities against the United States and prepares to conduct full-spectrum cyber operations against adversaries when directed. The CNMF is building a force of National Mission Teams (NMTs), National Support Teams (NSTs), and National Cyber Protection Teams (N-CPTs). Partnering with NSA, the CNMF tracks adversary cyber actors to gain advantages that will enable the United States to preclude cyber-attacks against US national interests. The CNMF is working with operational partners to develop and exercise the capabilities and operational concepts needed to enable combined and coalition operations (when authorized) in partnership with other government and appropriate private-sector partners.

USCYBERCOM manages only a portion of the “whole-of-nationeffort required to defend America’s critical infrastructure. The Command works with civilian agencies under their authorities to help protect national critical infrastructure and to prepare for scenarios in which US military action to defend the nation may be required.1 The Command is expanding its ties with the Reserves and the National Guard. Indeed, cyber response teams operating under Guard authorities can perform a variety of missions in support of state, local, and private entities (which operate independently under their own authorities). Recent legislation to incentivize information sharing will also help the Command and DoD to work more closely with the private sector in mitigating threats outside of government and military systems. The federal government has created a framework for implementing official channels to share information, and clarifying the lanes in the road for US government assistance to the private sector. Whatever USCYBERCOM’s ultimate role in that process is determined to be, I continue to tell all audiences that we adhere strictly to the Constitution and law in guarding civil liberties and privacy.

The Command is increasing its efforts in the areas above in alignment with the 2015 DoD Cyber Strategy. The Department, as you know, is engaged in a broad effort to improve the security of its information enterprise and to build a culture of cybersecurity. Doing so requires measures well beyond hardening the network architecture, and it cannot be accomplished in just a year or two, even with unlimited resources. The strategy is to replace the old infrastructure, to harden what we are maintaining while increasing its capability, and to grow a workforce possessing outstanding cybersecurity awareness and practices. Beyond that, we must understand that determined adversaries can sometimes bypass even the best security, and thus we must build our skills, as well as an operational mindset, for defeating them in our own networks.

These efforts, of course, depend on skilled, focused, and motivated people in a trained and ready force. USCYBERCOM tapped the expertise of NSA to deliver intensive training for cyber personnel, initially taking the lead in training operators from the Service cyber components who graduate to join the CMF teams. This hybrid arrangement will come to an end, with the Services resuming responsibility and authority for training CMF personnel at the end of 2018. In keeping with DoD’s Total Force concept, the Reserve component and the National Guard will also help to build the force. This requires flexibility with organizational requirements and manning standards, but it is already helping to increase the manpower and expertise we can put against some of our most difficult challenges.

USCYBERCOM is maturing its methods for identifying requirements and developing capabilities. The Command last year established a capabilities development team for performing this task, and that group has already done much good. It is doing so not only by working with industry, academia, and other agencies to identify promising ideas, but also in learning how to utilize the data we already generate from our own operations (particularly on DoD systems) to spot useful and/or anomalous patterns. The Command generally lacks NSA’s authorities in acquiring the tools for such initiatives, but Congress recently authorized USCYBERCOM acquisition authority for up to $75 million each year through the end of FY2021 to rapidly deliver acquisition solutions for cyber operations-peculiarcapabilities. We look forward to reporting to the Committee soon on how we are executing this authority.

USCYERCOM has now matured to the point where it brings vital capabilities to the defense of American interests on a daily basis. In light of the increasing severity of cyber threats, Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2017 directed the President to elevate USCYBERCOM to the status of a full unified combatant command. Elevation implicitly recognizes the importance of cyberspace to our national security. I support this step, although the timing and process for elevation are being worked out within the Department, and we expect to have more details to report to the Committee as they emerge. We will pay particular attention to the implementation of the Act’s provisions regarding authority for the acquisition of “cyber operations-peculiar” capabilities. As you know, the language in this section parallels that granted to US Special Operations Command. USSOCOM’s requirements, however, are not always congruent with those to support operations in the cyberspace domain, and thus authorities in the one field might not always be directly analogous to those in other. We are working with Committee staff to ensure that our implementation comports with Congress’s intent.

The recent National Defense Authorization Act in a separate provision also described some conditions for splitting the “dual-hat” arrangement, once that can happen without impairing either organization’s effectiveness. This is another provision I have publicly stated I support pending the attainment of certain crucial conditions. I have offered this caveat because the challenges in cyberspace are some of the greatest facing America. Meeting tomorrow’s threats requires leaders who can devote their time and energy to building the capabilities of USCYBERCOM and NSA while guarding the rights and liberties of US persons protected by our Constitution. We have not yet matured the Command to a point where splitting the two hats would not functionally impair mission effectiveness. If that point is reached on my watch, I intend to keep the Committee fully informed of the conditions set for the split and how they are met.

USCYBERCOM will also engage with this Committee on several other matters relating to the enhancement of the Command’s responsibilities and authorities over the coming year. These would include enhancing the professionalization of the cyber workforce, building capacity and developing capabilities, and streamlining acquisition processes. Most or all of these particulars have been directed in recent National Defense Authorization Acts; and along with the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Joint Staff, we will be talking with you and your staffs to iron out the implementation details.


Thank you for inviting me to talk with you today about US Cyber Command and its work. The Cyber Mission Force approaching full operational capability, and USCYBERCOM is poised to become a mature unified combatant command. USCYBERCOM personnel are proud of the roles they play in this endeavor, and are motivated to accomplish the many missions assigned to them and overseen by the Congress, particularly this Committee. They work to counter adversaries and support national and joint warfighter objectives in and through cyberspace on a previously unattainable scale and in a sustainable manner. Innovations are constantly emerging out of operational necessity. These, if supported with agile policies, decision-making processes, capabilities, concepts of operation, and command and control structures, will help USCYBERCOM realize its potential to counter adversary cyber strategies in and through cyberspace. The Command’s full-spectrum successes have validated concepts for creating cyber effects on the battlefield and beyond. Real-world experiences in meeting the requirements of national decision-makers and joint force commanders have driven operational advances that need time to mature. With the Cyber Mission Force now at initial operational capability, USCYBERCOM is demonstrating its contribution to comprehensive US Government approaches to countering adversary strategies in and through cyberspace.

The men and women of US Cyber Command thank you for your support, both in the past and in the big tasks ahead of us. We understand that a frank and comprehensive engagement with Congress not only facilitates the support that allows us to accomplish their missions, but also helps ensure that our fellow citizens understand and endorse our efforts on their behalf. I have seen the growth in the command’s size, budget, and mission. That investment of resources, time, and effort is paying off, and more importantly, is helping to keep Americans safer, not only in cyberspace but in the other domains as well. I look forward to continuing the dialogue over the Command and its progress with you in this hearing today and over the months to come. And now I would be happy to address your specific questions and concerns. 

The Department of Justice (particularly the Federal Bureau of Investigation) is the lead for cyber-related investigations and law enforcement, while the Department of Homeland Security takes the lead for national protection and recovery from cyber incidents.