Senate confirms Paul Nakasone to head NSA and U.S. Cyber Command

The U.S. Senate today confirmed President Donald Trump's selection to lead the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. Paul Nakasone will replace Mike Rogers, who is retiring.


On a voice vote, the Senate approved Paul Nakasone for one of the nation's top intelligence posts. They also approved his military promotion to general.

Nakasone, a longtime member of the cryptologic community, has a strong background in cyber issues. He is replacing the current director, Mike Rogers, who is retiring.

During his confirmation hearing, Nakasone said China, Russia and other nations that launch cyberattacks against the United States aren't worried about retribution and see no reason to change their behavior.

"They don't fear us," he said at the hearing, adding that the U.S. must impose costs on those adversaries to make them stop.

Nakasone previously commanded the U.S. Army Cyber Command and held military intelligence positions in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Republic of Korea.

As WIRED's Andy Greenberg notes, Nakasone's confirmation means…

[H]e'll soon lead not just one agency, but two: the world's most powerful spying operation, the NSA, and the world's most powerful military hacker force, US Cyber Command. And for the first time since those two roles were combined in 2010, the man leading them may be more comfortable with the latter—leaving the NSA with the unfamiliar feeling of being the not-quite-favorite sibling.