According to The Wall Street Journal, NSA director and United States Cyber Command chief General Paul Nakasone plans to step down in the near future.
As the director of Cyber Command, Nakasone has prioritized solving numerous critical concerns, such as worldwide ransomware and foreign meddling in U.S. elections.
In the wake of the significant leak of classified papers that exposed U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war and how America purportedly spies on its adversaries and allies, Nakasone’s possible resignation comes as the Pentagon is still reeling.
Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guard member, was identified as the leaker and arrested on charges of espionage and theft of government property.
According to a source who talked with the media, Nakasone hopes to depart in the coming months. The plans of the four-star general remain unknown; he may retire, transfer to another government agency, or enter the private sector.
In 2018, Nakasone was named director of both organizations.
Nakasone testified before Congress in March and warned that nation-state threat players like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea would only increase their cyber capabilities, making election involvement a permanent problem.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, his organization began assisting Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe to strengthen their cyber defenses.
Over thirty operations have been carried out by the agency’s “hunt forward” unit in various nations, including Montenegro, Estonia, North Macedonia, Croatia, and Latvia.
It’s “much more prevalent these days” than trying to get into election systems, he added, because foes of the United States are focusing on influence operations and disinformation campaigns.
If this resignation happens, it will be the second time a top-level administration cyber official has resigned this year. Chris Inglis, the previous director of the Office of the National Cyber Director, stepped down earlier this year.
In 2021, Inglis became the first person to hold the position of national cyber director. As part of his duties, he advised the president on matters of cybersecurity strategy and policy matters.