This article originally appeared at the West Point Institute of Modern Warfare.
At Stanford – The eighth week of the Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Challenge, we wrapped up our new National Security Unit. Joe Felter, Raj Shah, and I designed the class to cover how technology is shaping behavior and employment. All tools National power.
In Unit 1, we learned that national power is the sum of all the resources a country has to pursue its national goals and interests. This power is a combination of a country’s diplomacy, intelligence, military capabilities, economic strength, finance, intelligence and law enforcement. These instruments of national power, employed in a “whole of government approach” to advance the interests of the state, are known by the acronym DME.– FIL
Part 2 was focused on China, America’s first great power competitor. China uses all of its national power, such as information/intelligence, military power and economic strength, as well as Western finance and technology. China’s goal is to challenge and reverse the US-led liberal international order and replace it with its own neo-totalitarian model. China is emerging as a regional and global power.
The third part is focused on Russia, which since 2014 has proven itself as a competitive great power. We learned how Russia pursues security and economic interests in parallel with ideological objectives.
The fourth section turns our attention to the impact of commercial technologies on national energy equipment (DIME-FIL) equipment. It was the first technology that we investigated semiconductors, And America’s dependence on TSMC in Taiwan, for its most advanced logic chips. China claims that Taiwan is a Chinese territory, and this is problematic.
In the fifth section, we explored the impact of AI and machine learning on DIME-FIL’s capabilities and performance. We heard from the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), a focal point of the DOD AI strategy; and from the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) – a DoD organization that works with commercial companies to solve national security problems.
In Part 6, we discussed unmanned systems and autonomy and how the advent of these weapons will change operational concepts and the landscape of warfare.
The seventh episode looks at the second space age, how our military and civilian economy relies on assets in space, and how space is now a contested area, with China and Russia able to destroy/destroy our satellites.
Today’s Episode: Cyber
Catch up on the episode by reading our introduction to the episode and summaries of Episodes 1 , 2 , 3 , 4, 5 6 and 7
Case study for class
Competition in cyber space
Cyber attacks / cyber war
Theft of IP and Protected Personal Information.
Reading assignment questions
Choose one of the following questions and answer in approximately 100 words based on the required reading. Please note that this assignment is graded and counts toward course participation.
- What is the US Cyber Command Doctrine’s approach to competing in the cyber domain? Do you agree with the current teaching? Why or why not? Would you do something different?
- Of the various cyber threats presented in this week’s readings (cyberattack, PPI and IP theft, and political interference), which do you think poses the greatest threat to US interests and why? What should America do to address that threat? State if your recommendations are for the public or private sector.
Part 8 – guest Speaker
Dr. Michael Sulmeier is a senior advisor at USCYBERCOM (Cyber Command). He was the former director of cyber at the National Security Council. Former director of the Cyber Project at the Harvard Kennedy School-Belfer Center. He was the former director of cyber policy, plans and operations in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He previously worked on arms control and strategic stability between the United States, Russia and China.
Cyber Command was established in 2010 and is one of eleven unified commands of the United States Department of Defense. He is a four-star general, General Paul Nakasone, and director of the National Security Agency and head of the Central Security Service. It has three primary missions: (1) defend DoD information systems, (2) support joint force commanders in cyberspace operations, and (3) defend the nation against significant cyberattacks.
Dr. Sulmeier writes: “The focus on cyber defense is understandable but misplaced. Deterrence aims to change the calculus of adversaries by convincing them that the harms of an attack outweigh the rewards or deny them the benefits they seek. But the United States finds itself constantly on the back foot, seeking only to protect its enemies. Instead, the United States should pursue a cyber policy aimed not at deterring adversaries but at disrupting their capabilities. In cyber warfare, Washington must realize that the best defense is a good offense.
In countries where tech companies are willing to cooperate with the US government (or at the request of their own government), a phone call to the right cloud service provider or Internet Service Provider (ISP) can get bad actors kicked off the Internet.
It will be more difficult for U.S. hackers to compromise innocent systems to carry out their attacks by lightly wiping computers, disabling accounts and credentials that hackers use to attack, and cutting off access to services.
Our national defense cyber policy has now shifted to “sustainable engagement.” Defending as close as possible to the origin of enemy activity expands our efforts to expose enemy weaknesses, learn their intentions and capabilities, and counter attacks closer to their origins. Sustained engagement imposes strategic conflict and strategic costs on our adversaries, forcing them to shift resources to defense and reduce attacks. We pursue attackers across networks and systems while gaining greater freedom of movement before cyber and cyber-enabled action can harm our national forces..
If you are unable to view the lecture, click here for 8 slides.
- The function of Cyber Command is as follows:
- Defense of DoD information systems
- Supporting joint force commanders with cyberspace operations and
- Protecting the country from serious cyber attacks
- Cyber Command has evolved from a reactive defensive posture to a proactive posture called “continuous engagement.”
Filed under: Technological innovation and the great power race |