CYBERCOM’s First Combat Operation

Defense Secretary Ash Carter recently directed US Cyber Command to make the fight against ISIS the command’s first major combat operation, and that has taken shape with “virtual isolation” around the group as air strikes isolate fighters on the battlefield. “The objectives there are to interrupt ISIL command and control, interrupt its ability to move money around, interrupt its ability to tyrannize and control population, interrupt its ability to recruit externally,” Carter said during a Thursday Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the effect is isolating the group, “and this complements very much our physical actions on the ground, and the particular focus is external operations that might be conducted by ISIL.” The military’s paramount task in Operation Inherent Resolve is to protect the American public from ISIS, and using every tool is necessary to prevent these attacks, Carter said. “We’re bombing them, and we’re going to take out their internet, and so forth as well,” he said. (See also: OIR Goes Multi-Domain and Preparing to Retake Mosul.)