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Report: Chris Inglis Emerges as Pentagon Chief’s Pick to Lead NSA Should Split From Cybercom Advance

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Chris Inglis, former deputy National Security Agency director, has turned up to be the top candidate to lead NSA should Defense Secretary James Mattis decide to split the agency from U.S. Cyber Command, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Some sources told the publication the Pentagon chief was close to deciding on a plan to separate the dual-hat arrangement but decided to reconsider after Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of NSA and Cybercom, expressed concerns to Mattis about Cybercom’s capacity to operate on its own should the split push through.

“No decision has been made,” said Audricia Harris, a spokeswoman for DoD.

“When a decision is made, it will be reflective of the department’s commitment to preempt, defeat and deter malicious cyber activity.”

Inglis spent nearly three decades at NSA, where he served as deputy director between 2006 and 2014 and signals intelligence deputy chief for analysis and production.

He is a retired Air National Guard brigadier general and a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.

He also served in the U.S. Air Force for nine years, according to the report.