NSA nominee says Russian adversaries 'do not fear us'

Senators says Russia is acting with impunity.

“It has not changed their behavior.” Nakasone said.

That indictment described what even the Russians themselves called “information warfare” against the United States, but Nakasone could not say whether the U.S. military considers the 2016 - and current disinformation campaign - an act of cyber war.

Senators were less circumspect.

"We really haven’t retaliated at all, whether it be Iran, North Korea, China, Russia,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan, an Alaska Republican. “We seem to be the cyber punching bag of the world, and it's common knowledge.”

“We are either at war now, or on the brink of war, and the war is in cyber,” said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, “and we don’t have a strategy for dealing with that war, and we don’t have a strategy for deterring that war. We are under attack and our adversaries feel no consequences, they fear no response.”

If confirmed, Nakasone promised to act "with speed" to develop a strategy for deterring Russia’s meddling.

“If confirmed I would provide a series of options,” said Nakasone. “In this case the ultimate responsibility obviously resides with the president and Congress.”