Experts Weigh In: Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report 2020

 

Yesterday, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission report was released, which outlines a comprehensive strategy for defending the U.S. against major cyber attacks.  Read our expert analysis below, and to read the report, visit this page

March 12, 2020


Lauren Bedula – NSI Visiting Fellow; Senior Vice President at Beacon Global Strategies LLC

“I think the ‘big ideas’ reflected in the Commission’s report will do more than just ‘get the conversation started’.  There are specific and achievable recommendations that are unusual for this type of effort –  particularly when it comes to cybersecurity – and the Commission should be commended for this approach.  The private sector is eager to operationalize cybersecurity collaboration with the U.S. government, and will welcome the Commission’s emphasis on strengthened support of their defensive efforts. Clarification of U.S. government roles and responsibilities, and the elevation of cybersecurity as a priority at DHS in recent years, has improved public-private partnerships around cybersecurity, but the Commission is right to push these efforts further.  To do so, CISA must be well resourced and the U.S. government must bring to bear its authorities, resources, and intelligence capabilities to ensure meaningful support of the private sector’s defensive efforts.  The Commission’s work will no doubt continue to move the needle to where we must be in order to address the many existing cyber insecurities in our nation.”


Andrew Borene – NSI Senior Fellow; CEO, Cipherloc Corporation & QuantaNova

The report is right.  America is flat out not ready to battle adversaries in cyberspace.  We need to start talking about cyber the way we talk about large-scale terrorist attacks. Our adversaries don’t care if you’re public or private sector, if you’re a government agency or a private business – but that’s how we insist on defending ourselves.  The real lesson from 9/11 is that we have to be willing to erase those lines and tackle the threat together.  This report gives us the answers before we’re tested by a cyber 9/11.  We’d be fools to ignore it again – this could be our last alarm bell.”


Christopher Bright – NSI Visiting Fellow; Professorial Lecturer, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

“When faced with novel and complex national security threats, since at least the Eisenhower Administration’s Solarium exercise in 1953, the federal government has called upon outside experts to help craft a response.  Just as there is disagreement about many aspects of past initiatives, the recommendations of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission will no doubt prompt debate.  What should not be obscured in these discussions, however, is the dangers highlighted in this report and the urgent need to take action.”


Megan Brown – NSI Senior Fellow and Associate Director for Cybersecurity Programs; Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

“The Report is a clarion call for more regulation and government power.  It makes several helpful recommendations but includes heavy handed commands to the private sector.  It is rife with the statement ‘Congress should pass a law’ – which should make readers nervous.  The proposed ‘certification and labeling authority’ is one example.  It would put government in the middle of private innovation, and oversimplifies cyber as something easy to quantify and communicate, like Energy Star or nutrition labels.”


Jim Danoy – NSI Visiting Fellow; Former Defense Intelligence Executive, U.S. Department of Defense

“The Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s (CSC) call for greater interaction between the Intelligence Community (IC) and the private sector, particularly in the area of information-sharing will be a critical component of the ‘layered cyber deterrence’ strategic approach outlined by the CSC.  The ability to deter, detect, deny, and respond with ‘speed and agility’ to defend U.S. people, property, and interests in cyberspace as the report demands will be dependent on and enabled through exquisite intelligence.  Outdated U.S. government information sharing directives must be revised and outmoded and inadequate information technology (IT) dissemination systems upgraded—all with the need to protect sensitive information.

As part of the CSC approach the IC will require greater ‘situational awareness’ of the cyberthreats and vulnerabilities facing the private sector.  As noted in the CSC report, private sector feedback to the IC on the nature of the threat it faces will be essential and must be timely and detailed in order for the IC to craft useful collection requirements and execute effective support operations.  This will require an unprecedented level of trust and confidence between the private sector and the IC that to date has been uneven across the public-private domain.  While a close collaborative partnership between the private sector and the IC may be uncomfortable for some, each must undertake an intensified strategic communications outreach effort to change mindsets as part of the ‘shape behavior’ component of the CSC’s call to action.  I applaud the Commission’s call for a comprehensive government review of the IC ‘s ability to provide support to the private sector as it pertains to cybersecurity and ways to address identified shortfalls.”


Sean Kanuck – NSI Advisory Board Member; Former National Intelligence Officer for Cyber Issues, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

“The Solarium report is a formidable summation of the current state of affairs.  Its near-term impact will depend on implementation of the numerous policy recommendations, but ultimate success will require adoption of even more advanced initiatives for artificial intelligence and quantum computing.”


Gentry Lane – NSI Visiting Fellow; CEO and founder of ANOVA Intelligence

“The Cyber Solarium Commission report endeavors to add context, personalize and make more compelling the incremental and abstract nature of cyber conflict.  The scope is wide-sweeping and the majority of proposals are obvious.  However the proposed expansion of DHS’s authority is worrying. Despite the stellar leadership of CISA Director Chris Krebs, DHS is a shell of the agency it was meant to be.  Severely understaffed in general, and even more so by those with significant cyber expertise, morale is scarce and efficiency of action is scarcer.  The CSC report’s overall strategy of layered deterrence via shaping behavior, denying benefits and imposing costs is straight out of any military strategy primer.  By prioritizing national security and public safety, some proposals will meet resistance by those who prioritize profits.  It will be interesting to see how many of these recommendations will be adopted by the next administration.”


Andrea Limbago – NSI Senior Fellow; Chief Social Scientist at Virtru

“We are dangerously insecure in cyber.  The Cyberspace Solarium Commission report quickly acknowledges this reality and highlights the infinite ways cyberspace shapes society and our national and economic security.  We are at an inflection point, and authoritarian regimes currently are shaping this reality.  The United States has failed to keep pace with other countries in shaping the digital revolution.

This new report refreshingly and clearly demonstrates this failure and introduces solutions to innovate across technology, governance, and norms, and to reestablish global leadership across each of these areas.  The report is significant in its balanced approach to offense and defense, with key insights focused on the necessity of resilience.  Whether through the creation of trusted supply chains ecosystems to promoting greater digital literacy and civics education, the report takes a necessarily nuanced approach to defense.  In fact, the report highlights the need for a national data security and privacy protection law, a conversation that is too often disconnected from broader cybersecurity conversations much to the detriment of our national and economic security.

Oddly, the report seems to have a mixed relationship with math. Concrete recommendations include a new Bureau of Cyber Statistics and a Joint Collaborative Environment for secure data sharing and collaboration, as well as a strong prioritization of artificial intelligence research.  These are welcome acknowledgements of the current and future digital landscape.  In fact, the report declares that it is the actors with the best algorithms and tech that have the upper hand.

At the same time, the report fails to take a stance on the encryption debate that grows stronger by the day.  The report (p 17) explicitly acknowledges how authoritarian states build in backdoors for government access that allows surveillance at home and abroad, but fails to take a stance against these backdoors.  In fact, the report (p 95) acknowledges that encryption is essential to combat this surveillance and is necessary for a free and open internet, not to mention protecting data against the full-range of threats listed in the first fifth of the report.  To its credit, the opening statement admits the lack of agreement in this area, demonstrating just how fragile this essential protection is and the potential that a U.S. anti-encryption policy could be an ‘own goal’ making life easier for the range of adversaries.

Finally, while the report does a great job addressing the broad range of innovations required across technology, governance, and norms, it fell slightly short in its overview of the challenges.  It describes the state and non-state actors well, but does not include the emerging threat to security and stability posed by the growing privatization of hackers for hire and disinformation for hire that continues, such as the NSO Group and Dark Matter, or so-called black PR firms.

Regardless of this oversight, the report is a welcome first step, with concrete recommendations for finally making progress toward a coherent national cyber strategy.  It rightly details the ways the US – in collaboration with allies – must take the leadership role and craft the playbook for a digital democracy.  Absent this digital modernization across technology, governance, and norms, authoritarian regimes will continue to fill this global vacuum to the detriment of democracy across the globe as well as our national and economic security.”


Andrew McClure – NSI Visiting Fellow; Principal, ForgePoint Capital

“The Cyber Solarium Commission is perhaps the most ambitious review of the nation’s cyber strategy in years.  Unlike other run-of-the-mill think tank reports or academic papers, the Commissioners put forward practical recommendations, with clear steps toward implementation, to advance national security and sustain the health of the digital economy.

While many of the report’s proposals are welcome, not all recommendations will be met without resistance.  It’s unlikely the Executive branch would welcome a Senate-confirmed National Cyber Director in the White House.  However, restoring the role of the Cybersecurity Coordinator at the National Security Council would re-elevate cybersecurity as a strategic imperative across the government.

Other elements are missing from the report.  Given the importance placed in the report on election security and countering disinformation, the private sector is looking to the government to lead a coordinated approach with industry to counter foreign malign influence operations, akin to a process established for coordinated vulnerability disclosure.

Nonetheless, among the report’s most important recommendations is the call for greater collaboration on data sharing among cyber insurers given the industry’s broader capacity to set standards for corporate hygiene, from seat belts to fire safety.

Most importantly, the Commissioners chart a future to regain American leadership in cybersecurity, by setting and influencing emerging standards, or leading the dialogue on acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace, to blunt many of the gains authoritarian regimes have made to undermine human rights in the digital realm or undermine supply chains to fuel their surveillance states.”


Stephen Viña – NSI Visiting Fellow; Former Chief Counsel for Homeland Security, U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security

“The call to action by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission launches a bold new strategy to better strengthen cybersecurity and build more resilient infrastructure in the United States.  With over seventy-five recommendations, the ‘layered cyber deterrence’ approach has the potential to reshape our country’s cyber policies for the next generation.  Real progress, however, will be challenging without a strong partnership between industry and government.  This report provides a solid foundation for continued collaboration among cyber stakeholders but more work needs to be done.  Now is time for Congress, the Administration, and industry to come together and turn this cyber blueprint into action.”


Dave Weinstein – NSI Visiting Fellow; Vice President of Threat Research, Claroty, Inc.

“I highly commend the Chairmen, Commissioners, and Solarium staffers for their strategic observations and practical recommendations for improving the state of the Nation’s cybersecurity.  Having faced these challenges first in government and now in industry, I’m particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of ‘operationalizing’ public-private partnerships in this domain.  Today the burden of defense against state-backed cyber threats rests largely with America’s private sector.  Government at all levels must share in this burden.  The notion of ‘ruthlessly prioritizing support to private entities’ should be adopted and codified by Congress with expediency and in a manner that doesn’t levy additional undue burdens on critical infrastructure owners and operators.”


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this analysis are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Security Institute or any agency of the U.S. government. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the National Security Institute or any U.S. government entity.

President Trump Awards Medal Of Freedom To Retired Army General Jack Keane

March 12, 2020
Contact: Jessica Moreno
jmoreno7@gmu.edu
703-993-8165

Arlington, VA – President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to retired US Army Gen. Jack Keane on Tuesday, March 10, at a ceremony at the White House, describing him as a “visionary, a brilliant strategist, and an American hero.”  He is also an Advisory Board Member at the National Security Institute (NSI), located at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

Established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor.  It is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Gen. Keane completed 37 years of public service in December 2003, culminating in his appointment as acting Chief of Staff and Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army.  As the chief operating officer of the Army for over four years, he directed 1.5 million soldiers and civilians in 120 countries, with an annual operating budget of 110 billion dollars.  He was in the Pentagon on 9/11 and provided oversight and support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Since 2004, Gen. Keane spent a decade conducting frequent trips to Iraq and Afghanistan for senior defense officials with multiple visits during the surge period in both countries directly assisting Gen. David Petraeus.  He is currently a senior strategist analyst for Fox News and chairman of the Institute for the Study of War, a national security policy think tank.

“Gen. Jack Keane is a true American patriot and has served our nation with great distinction and honor for more than three decades.  We are thrilled at the recognition of his service and commitment to our national security and are proud to have the opportunity to work with him at the National Security Institute,” said NSI Founder and Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer.

The retired general was joined by members of his family, as well as distinguished leaders, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who is also an NSI Advisory Board Member.

“I’m deeply honored by this extraordinary award and to receive it here in the White House surrounded by family, my friends, and by senior government officials, it is really quite overwhelming,” Gen. Keane said.

Watch the video here.

About the National Security Institute

The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its visiting fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.

About the Scalia Law School

The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn.  Challenge.  Lead.  Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.

About George Mason

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university.  Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130   countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

Fault Lines: Soleimani Fallout

In This Episode: “You have a lot of people who are not non-Iran experts looking at this as if they were Iran experts and thinking that this is the end game. I wish this was the end game. I am not sad about Qasem Soleimani’s death but I am not at all convinced that this will be the last retaliatory reaction we see from Iran” says Jodi Herman.

Jamil, Dana, Jodi, and Lester discuss the current state of affairs between Iran and the United States, for better and for worse. A vigorous and pointed analysis of congressional war powers is not to be missed. The first Fault Lines Podcast of 2020 is a humdinger! And that’s no malarkey!

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NSI Welcomes New Advisory Board Members and Visiting Fellows

December 20, 2019
Contact: Jessica Moreno
jmoreno7@gmu.edu
703-993-8165

The National Security Institute Welcomes New Advisory Board Members and Visiting Fellows

Arlington, VA – The National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School announced today four prominent additions to its Advisory Board:

  • Judy Ansley – Former Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor, National Security Council
  • Richard H. Ledgett, Jr. – Former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency
  • Kristi M. Rogers – Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Principal to Principal
  • Michelle Van Cleave – Former National Counterintelligence Executive

These four add decades of distinguished experience to NSI’s bipartisan Advisory Board that already includes a former CIA director, a former NSA director, and a former U.S. Attorney General.  More information on NSI’s full Advisory Board can be found here.

NSI also added to its impressive roster of Visiting Fellows.  NSI’s newest Fellows served as leaders in Congress and the Executive branch, and continue to hold senior positions in the private sector and academia.  These new Fellows include:

  • Christian Beckner – Senior Director of Retail Technology and Cybersecurity, National Retail Federation
  • Ernie Bio – Vice President, ForgePoint Capital
  • Jennifer Cafarella – Research Director, Institute for the Study of War
  • Giovanna M. Cinelli – Partner and Practice Lead, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • David Etue – Global Head of Managed Security Services, BlueVoyant
  • Alex Gallo – Executive Director, Common Mission Project
  • Salman Husain – Vice President of Investment Banking, Aronson Capital Partners
  • Mario Loyola – Former Associate Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Margaret Martin – Director and Assistant General Counsel, Capital One
  • Andrew McClure – Principal, ForgePoint Capital
  • Sasha Moss – Senior Director, Insight Public Affairs
  • Kenneth Nunnenkamp – Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Tony Samp – Former Director, Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus; Policy Advisor, DLA Piper
  • Heather West – Head of Public Policy, Americas, Mozilla, Corp.
  • Sounil Yu – Author and Inventor, Cyber Defense Matrix; Former Chief Security Scientist, Bank of America

These experts join a class of 100 Fellows who have already made outstanding contributions to NSI through policy papers, panel discussions, and other scholarship.  A complete list of NSI Visiting Fellows can be found here.

About the National Security Institute

The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its visiting fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.

About the Scalia Law School

The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words:  Learn.  Challenge.  Lead.  Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.

About George Mason

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university.  Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130   countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

Fault Lines: The Empire Strikes Out?

Fault Lines: The Empire Strikes Out?

In This Episode: “This NDAA is a rejection of the bulk of this administration’s foreign policy.  It comes in hard against Russia and its involvement in Eastern Europe, it comes out hard against Turkey and our allowing of the Turks to roll over our allies and the Kurds, it comes out aggressively against China,” says NSI Founder and Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer.

In our last episode of 2019, Dana, Jamil and Lester welcome special guest Elisa Catalano, former Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council and former Senior Policy Advisor at the State Department, to the podcast.  The group takes on the Washington Post’s 6-part series on the war in Afghanistan and the foreign policy aspects of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

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The Arctic: Securing the High Ground

 

This NSI Law and Policy Paper:

  • Describes the changing security dynamic in the Arctic as a result of increased access to the region.
  • Evaluates the actions undertaken by Arctic stakeholders including key U.S. competitors Russia and China.
  • Argues for more robust action by the U.S. in the Arctic to include leveraging key partnerships.
  • Proposes actionable recommendations aimed at the U.S. establishing a credible and persistent presence in the Arctic.

Click here to read the complete paper.


About the author:

James P. Danoy is a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.  Mr. Danoy is a career intelligence officer with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and is currently serving as the DIA Executive Representative to the FBI and is responsible for leveraging defense and law enforcement intelligence capabilities in support of national security requirements.

Episode 5: Groundhog Day All Over Again?

Fault Lines: Groundhog Day All Over Again?

In This Episode: “I think action should have consequences, and I think NATO collectively should be treating Turkey like the bad actor it is,” says NSI Senior Fellow and Associate Director for Global Security Matthew R. A. Heiman.

What better way to begin Thanksgiving week than to listen to our motley bunch discuss Turkey… and Iran?  Jodi, Dana, Lester and guest Matthew Heiman review protests in Iran, Turkish incursions into Syria, and how Washington is responding.  Is it “Groundhog Day” in Iran?  (What would Bill Murray do?)

Also included: a serious discussion of changing power dynamics in the Middle East and how that affects American interests.


Tune in each week to hear about topics dominating headlines, as well as to gain glimpses into the news stories you may have missed.

NSI Accepting Applications for Technologist Fellowship

The NSI Technologist Fellowship is a year-long fellowship geared at taking technologists from across the country and giving the them the core tools they need to effectively engage policymakers in both the legislative and executive branches on cyber issues.  NSI Technologist fellows have the opportunity to engage with cyber experts and leading technology and national security policymakers.  Past speakers include former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers; Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Chris Krebs; former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency Rick Ledgett; National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Dr. Stacey Dixon; and entrepreneur Ron Gula, co-founder of Tenable Network Security.

The goal of the NSI Technologist Fellowship is to enhance technologists’ ability to influence the larger policy community and thereby inject more direct technology-related expertise into the national security and cyber policy processes.

The application for the 2020 class is now open.  Applications are due Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

More Fellowship Information can be found here.

Application Information can be found here.


NSI Technologist Fellowship Class of 2019

Fault Lines Podcast – Episode 2

In This Episode: 

“This decision by the president…it’s a terrible decision, it’s bad for our policy worldwide, it makes our enemies not fear us, it makes our allies not willing to trust us,” says NSI Founder Jamil Jaffer.

This week, Dana, Jamil and Lester delve into two hot spots.  First, in Syria, they will explore the implications of President Trump’s abrupt pullout of American troops for the region and American politics.  Second, they’ll take a look at the dustup between the NBA and China, and what it might mean for the politics of US national security and they’ll also decide who is the greatest basketball player of all-time.

Listen here


Fault Lines is the fortnightly podcast of the National Security Institute at George Mason University, featuring a regular cast of foreign policy experts: Jodi Herman, former Democratic Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Jamil Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute and former Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Dana Stroul, former senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and moderator Lester Munson, former Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University.

This motley crew will examine national security and foreign policy issues with perspectives from across the political spectrum-finding points of agreement and often disagreement along the way. Each episode explores the topics dominating headlines, as well as gives glimpses into the news stories you may have missed.

A Book Talk: “How We Win”

Monday, October 7
Hazel Hall 215
12 – 1 PM

NSI Advisory Board Member Farah Pandith participated in a conversation about her latest book, How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat.  In her book, Ms. Pandith presents a revolutionary new analysis of global extremism as well as powerful but seldom-used strategies for vanquishing it.  NSI Founder and Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer interviewed Ms. Pandith.

Watch the video

Fault Lines Podcast – Episode 1


Introducing Fault Lines
A Podcast from the National Security Institute

After three episodes as guests of the Lawfare Podcast, the National Security Institute at George Mason University is stepping out on its own!  Fault Lines will feature a regular cast of foreign policy experts: Jodi Herman, former Democratic Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Jamil N. Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute and former Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Dana Stroul, former senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee covering the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey; and moderator Lester Munson, NSI Senior Fellow and former Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University.This motley crew will examine national security and foreign policy issues with perspectives from across the political spectrum – finding points of agreement and – often – disagreement along the way.


In This Episode: 

“Whether you’re looking at Iran’s efforts to build a covert nuclear program, its use of proxies in Iraq to kill American troops back in 1983 – the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks that killed 241 Americans – they have not been shy about coming directly at their adversaries really almost never since the revolution,” says Fault Line‘s Jodi Herman.

This week, our experts delve into two hot spots.  First, in the Middle East, where Iran attacked Saudi oil facilities, they examine possible reactions from President Trump, who is now without former National Security Advisor John Bolton, as well as the American public’s limit regarding Iranian aggression.  They also argued over whether China, with an ongoing trade dispute with the US, upcoming elections in Taiwan, and continued global attention on China’s crackdown on Uighurs, tempers its response to near open revolt in Hong Kong, and whether Congress is going to do something in light of the Administration’s seeming disinterest.

 

NSI Law and Policy Paper – Critical Access: Enhancing the Value of Private Sector Security Clearances to Protect Critical Infrastructure

This NSI Law and Policy Paper:

  • Describes the development of programs providing high-level clearances to critical infrastructure industry representatives to facilitate information sharing around growing nation state threats.
  • Evaluates the current gaps and inconsistencies among these clearance programs.
  • Argues that information sharing at classified levels is essential and critical infrastructure clearance programs must be enhanced.
  • Provides recommendations to ensure clearance programs are facilitating actionable information sharing and a secure critical infrastructure.

Read the complete paper here.

About the Author:

Jenny Menna is a Visiting Fellow at NSI.  Ms. Menna is currently the Senior Vice President and Cybersecurity Partnership Executive at U.S. Bank.  Ms. Menna previously held a variety of Senior Executive Service positions in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

NSI Law and Policy Paper – Privacy Regulation and Unintended Consequences for Security

This NSI Law and Policy Paper:

  • Describes the federal urgency to act in response to public concern and the rapid global and domestic expansion of comprehensive privacy regulation.
  • Evaluates the implications privacy regulation can have for data protection and beneficial security activities.
  • Argues that AI, biometrics, and certain data categories are all critical to security innovations and activities and must be protected in privacy regulation.
  • Provides actionable recommendations to ensure privacy regulation appropriately balances individual rights with security.

Click here to read the complete paper.

About the Authors:

Megan Brown is an NSI Senior Fellow and Associate Director for Cybersecurity.  She is also a partner at Wiley Rein LLP.  Prior to joining Wiley, Ms. Brown served in the Department of Justice as Counsel to two U.S. Attorneys General.

James B. Burchfield is an NSI Visiting Fellow.  He is a partner at Williams & Jensen PLLC and also serves as a professional staff member for the House Committee on Small Business.

Filling the Vacuum: Harnessing Innovation & Securing Space

Van Metre Hall
July 16
12:00 – 3:00 PM

Jamil N. Jaffer, NSI Founder and Executive Director, and former Chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, NSI Advisory Board Member, and former Rep. Mike Rogers discussed the “Securing the Highest Ground, Integrating Commercial Space Innovation into National Security Missions” report written by Rep. Rogers and Glenn Nye, President & CEO of the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress on July 16. Professor Jaffer and Rep. Rogers discussed the importance of a more robust and rapid space industry. Specifically, Rep. Rogers stressed the need for a rapid launch pattern that focuses on private industries that are qualified bidding for space contracts to increase competition, lower costs, and lead to greater innovation. This is in contrast with the current culture and practices of the United States government, which is focused on mission assurance and actively fights against failure. Rep. Rogers stressed that the space industry, both public and private, needs to fail fast and fail often in order to innovate new technologies and to deter adversaries from interfering. Rep. Rogers shared that it took 400,000 people to achieve the moon landing in 1969, and since then the space industry has become smaller and more condensed in its capabilities. By doubling the number of people working in space, costs will be driven down, an industrial base will be encouraged, and new capabilities will be filled.

Following the fireside chat, NSI Senior Fellow Bryan Smith, Former Budget Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence led a discussion, featuring Retired Colonel Lars Hoffman, Senior Vice President, Rocket Lab; Adrian Mangiuca, Commerce Director, NanoRacks; and Jeff Trauberman, Vice President of Government Affairs, VOX Space. These panelists discussed the advantage of harnessing innovation, agility, and cost advantage of commercial companies. The panelists came from different backgrounds of “old space” (traditional space companies), “new space” (up and coming companies), and the government. Despite their backgrounds, the panelists stressed the need for a hybrid architecture of the space industry. They also spoke about the importance of both “old space” and “new space” working together to enhance national security and global commerce.  Watch the entire discussion below.

Fault Lines Podcast: Hot Topics in U.S. Foreign Policy

 

 

 

The National Security Institute is excited to announce NSI’s third episode in our Fault Lines podcast mini-series with Lawfare.  This episode focused on hot topics in U.S. Foreign Policy and featured Fault Lines regulars:

  • NSI Senior Fellow and former lawyer with the National Security Division at DOJ Matthew Heiman;
  • NSI Senior Fellow and former Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Lester Munson;
  • Former Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jodi Herman
  • Former Senior Democratic Staffer for the Middle East on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Dana Stroul

Fault Lines brings together experts with years of experience working on national security issues that divide the political left and right.  This series aspires to highlight both the areas of stark contrast and unlikely agreement in foreign policy-making that exist in today’s polarized atmosphere.

Subscribe to the Lawfare Podcast to get this and future episodes of Fault Lines.

Listen here