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Homeland Defense Nominee Prioritizes Terrorist Protection

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2014 – The nominee for assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense told the Senate Armed Forces Committee in a statement he would continue the Defense Department’s policies and improve protection of the United States from a major terrorist attack.

In answers to questions submitted by committee members to Eric Rosenbach before his SASC confirmation hearing Feb. 25, the nominee said he would “continue, and improve the outstanding efforts” of DOD to prevent such an attack.

“I would be particularly focused on preventing an attack using a weapon of mass destruction, and on planning and preparing for the response to catastrophic incidents in the United States, including weapons of mass destruction,” Rosenbach said in his statement.

“One of the most pressing challenges that I would immediately face … would be managing the department’s efforts to help eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons,” he added in his statement.

Rosenbach has been the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy since 2011.

“Over the last two-and-a-half years at the Pentagon, I gained a deep understanding of the cyber security challenges facing the nation,” he said in his statement.

Rosenbach also noted in his statement that his “substantive background” includes extensive practical and academic work in intelligence, counterterrorism, homeland security and cyber policy.

As a former commander of an Army intelligence unit, he said he has “invaluable experience” in military and intelligence operations, in addition to experience in U.S. counterterrorism and homeland security work as a former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member.

“If confirmed, I look forward to working with you and your staffs, [and] in particular as a former member of the Senate staff, I know that's important. I'll make every effort, if confirmed, to live up to your expectations,” Rosenbach told SASC members during the hearing.

“I see no higher honor than serving as the assistant secretary of defense and focusing in particular on homeland defense and defending our country and working closely with the National Guard, Northern Command, Cyber Command and Strategic Command,” he said.

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkAFPS

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