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Keith Alexander: Pentagon Needs New Framework to Counter Cyber, Terrorist Threats

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Keith Alexander
Keith Alexander

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander has told Senate Armed Services Committee members he believes the Defense Department should adopt new strategies to protect the U.S. against acts of terrorism and cyber crime.

The former National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command leader told lawmakers committee in written testimony Tuesday that continued activity of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization remains a threat to U.S.’ national security efforts.

He added he has also observed an increase in nation-state espionage targeting government systems, theft of intellectual property from U.S. businesses and destructive cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.

“On both the cyber and terrorism fronts, we also need to make significant progress in thinking more
clearly — both in strategic and tactical terms — about how to deal with the increasing scale and scope of
asymmetric threats,” Alexander stated.

“A lighter, faster, more responsive and agile set of forces, specifically aimed at the terrorism and
cyber target sets, is critical.”

He said the U.S. needs a cyber law that would incentivize public-private threat data sharing and called on DoD to develop a foundational framework to stop criminal syndicates and nation-state actors in cyberspace.

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