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

Fault Lines Podcast: China

 

 

 

The National Security Institute is excited to announce NSI’s second episode in our Fault Lines podcast mini-series with Lawfare.  This episode focused on the U.S.-China relationship and featured Fault Lines regulars:

  • NSI Founder and Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer;
  • 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 Now

Combating Digital Authoritarianism: U.S. Alternative Needed to Counter Data Localization and Government Control

 

This NSI Report:

  • Describes the global trend toward data localization—policies that require data to be stored within national borders and often impede cross-border flows.
  • Explains the digital divide between authoritarian regimes’ use of data localization as a key means of information and political control, and more nascent efforts at a democratic alternative.
  • Argues that a U.S. data privacy and security framework is needed to counter the rising authoritarian model that is fostering a global splinternet and debilitating democratic values across the globe.

Read the complete paper.

About the author:

Dr. Andrea Little Limbago is the Chief Social Scientist at Virtru.  She is an NSI Senior Fellow and also serves as NSI’s Associate Director of Emerging Technologies. 

Into the Breach: Responding to Critical Data Incidents

The National Security Institute hosted an invitation-only lunchtime event for data breach lawyers on May 1.  The event featured a fireside chat with NSI Advisory Board Members Matt Olsen, Uber Chief Trust and Security Officer, and Ben Powell, former ODNI General Counsel and NSI Advisory Board member.  They spoke about best practices when responding to critical data incidents.  The event was sponsored by ForgePoint Capital.

NSI Law & Policy Paper – Untangling the Guantanamo Military Commissions

 

This NSI Law and Policy Paper:

  • Describes the history and purpose of the military commissions convened at Guantanamo Bay as well as the protracted delays plaguing several of the government’s highest-priority commissions trials;
  • Evaluates the rationale behind military commissions “apparent unlawful influence” jurisprudence, the contempt powers of the military commissions trial judiciary, and detainee monitoring at Guantanamo Bay – issues that have contributed significantly to the unreasonably long pre-trial litigation phase of the commissions;
  • Argues that modest reforms would enable the commissions to accelerate the pace of pretrial litigation without undermining the rights of the Accused;
  • Proposes actionable recommendations that can help resolve these procedural delays to justice and protect an important war power for the United States.

Click here to read the complete paper.

About the Author:

Adam Pearlman is a former Associate Deputy General Counsel of the United States Department of Defense.  While at DoD, he was agency counsel for complex civil and criminal national security matters in federal and military courts, and led the Supreme Court and appellate unit of the team dedicated to litigating classified counterterrorism cases.

Fault Lines Podcast

 

The National Security Institute is excited to announce NSI’s first episode in our Fault Lines podcast mini-series with Lawfare.  This episode focused on the ongoing civil war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and American policy in the region and featured Fault Lines regulars:

  • NSI Founder and Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer;
  • 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.  The 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 Now

NSI White Paper – Jordan: A Critical Ally in a Dangerous and Vital Region

 

This NSI White Paper:

  • Explains the continuing U.S. national security interest in the Middle East.
  • Describes the important role Jordan plays in helping the U.S. achieve its goals in the Middle East.
  • Offers steps that should be taken to strengthen the U.S.-Jordan relationship.

Read the complete paper here.

About the Author:

Matthew R. A. Heiman is an NSI Senior Fellow and former lawyer in the National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice.  Previously, Mr. Heiman was the Vice President, Corporate Secretary & Associate General Counsel at Johnson Controls.  Prior to its merger with Johnson Controls, Mr. Heiman held a number of positions with Tyco International.

National Security Law and Policy Career Panel

Hazel Hall | Room 225
March 27
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Students met NSI Visiting Fellows and learned how to better prepare for a career in national security law and policy.  Panelists included:

  • Matthew R. A. Heiman, NSI Senior Fellow; Former lawyer in the National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Geof Kahn, Former Senior Advisor to the Chief Operating Officer, Central Intelligence Agency
  • David Priess, Former Intelligence Officer, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Paula Doyle, Former. Assoc. Deputy Director of Operations Technology, Central Intelligence Agency (moderator)

Visit this page to watch the career panel.

Distinguished Speaker Series: Brent McIntosh

Hazel Hall | Room 225
March 20
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

NSI hosted a fireside chat with Brent McIntosh, General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury, and NSI Founder Jamil N. Jaffer to discuss Treasury’s role in advancing U.S. national security.  In his role, Mr. McIntosh provides legal and policy advice to the Secretary and other senior Departmental officials.  Mr. McIntosh spoke on how Treasury has traditionally been viewed as focusing on purely economic and financial topics that do not directly touch foreign policy and national security—the collection of taxes, management of federal debt, payment of federal obligations, and more.  Over the past decade, Treasury and its tools has taken an increasingly central role in various foreign policy and national security issues.  Watch the firechat below.  Visit this page for the photo gallery.

The Future of Cyber Defense: CISA and the Private Sector

Founders Hall Auditorium
3351 Fairfax Drive
George Mason University
Arlington, Virginia
March 11, 2019 | 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

 

The National Security Institute was excited to host a presentation and reception to celebrate the founding of the new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency sponsored by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.  Attendees heard from CISA Director Chris Krebs, Assistant Director Jeanette Manfra, General Counsel Dan Sutherland, and others about how America’s newest agency is poised to make an impact on the protection of the private sector.

 

Download the slide deck from the event here.

 

National Emergency at the Border: A Debate

The National Security Institute and the Federalist Society held a debate on the President’s legal authority to declare a national emergency on the southern border.  As legal challenges to this declaration work their way through the courts, watch the potential arguments deployed by each side below.  NSI Visiting Fellow and former Associate Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense Adam Pearlman moderated the debate between Antonin Scalia Law School Professor of Law Michael Krauss and the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro.

NSI Experts Weigh In: Hanoi Summit

Today, President Trump finished his second meeting with Kim Jong-Un.  NSI’s experts analyzed the impact the Hanoi Summit will have on the effort to denuclearize North Korea.

February 28, 2019


Dmitri AlperovitchDmitri Alperovitch – NSI Visiting Fellow; Co-Founder, CrowdStrike

“It was never likely that North Korea would ever voluntarily give up nuclear weapons, their ultimate guarantor of regime security. Having learned from the lessons of what can happen to dictators once they give up on nuclear weapons from the experiences of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, it would be suicidal for Kim Jong Un to ever give up his deterrent.

The unfortunate reality is that we now have to admit to ourselves that a nuclear-armed North Korea is here to stay and focus our efforts on deterring and containing them and, most importantly, preventing further proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

 


Matthew R. A. HeimanMatthew R. A. Heiman – NSI Senior Fellow and Associate Director for Global Security; Chairman, Cyber & Privacy Working Group, Regulatory Transparency Project

“The summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un ended earlier than expected and without an agreement or tangible progress.  President Trump’s experience negotiating with the North Korean regime is consistent with the difficulty experienced by past administrations.  The North Koreans have two approaches to negotiations – make promises that aren’t kept and refuse to negotiate in good faith.  Today’s breakdown is one more link in that chain.  The prospects for this summit were not good given the pre-meeting chatter.  North Korea was offering to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear facility, a horse it has sold in previous negotiations.  The Trump team hinted that it would not demand a full accounting of North Korean nuclear facilities, which would prevent assurance of total denuclearization.  Under these circumstances, no deal was the best deal, and President Trump was right to walk.  It’s time to return to the maximum pressure campaign and make life as uncomfortable as possible for the Kim regime.”

 


Jamil N. Jaffer – NSI Founder and Executive Director; former Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush

“While the typical reaction to the outcome of the Hanoi summit has been to call it a failure, that is exactly the wrong analysis.  To the contrary, by walking away from a weak offer by the North Koreans, the President has maximized his leverage and has reasserted control over a set of negotiations that ended poorly for the United States after the last round.  In my book, the Hanoi summit was a win for U.S. national security.”

 


Andy KeiserAndy Keiser – NSI Fellow; Former Senior Advisor, House Intelligence Committee

“President Trump returns from Vietnam in the same position as when he arrived: still talking to the North Koreans about denuclearization and confidence-building measures but not agreeing on the details.

Though surely a disappointment but likely not a surprise to the U.S. side, it is important to remember that North Korea is currently not testing nuclear weapons or the missiles that could potentially deliver them and biting sanctions remain in place while talks continue.

Give the President credit for showing a willingness to walk away from a deal when he feels the United States is giving up too much. Where we go from here and if the North Koreans are actually committed to an agreement remains an open question.”

 


Rizwan LadhaRizwan Ladha – NSI Visiting Fellow; Strategy Lead, Defense, Space & Security, The Boeing Company

“The second summit between Trump and Kim should be cautiously welcomed. Whenever diplomatic progress is made between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, it should be celebrated and encouraged. The fact that no agreement was reached at this meeting is also par for the course — many administrations have expended significant time and political capital to negotiate a verifiable solution to the North Korean nuclear question, and it appears there was no illusion within the Trump administration that they could successfully negotiate an agreement in just a couple of meetings.

It appears the sticking point remains how to balance sanctions relief with denuclearization, which both parties appear to want in principle. But aside from figuring out the optimal sequencing of moves that would allow both sides to get what they want, the real challenge for Secretary of State Pompeo, his negotiating team, and President Trump will be to internalize what the term “denuclearization” means to North Korea, and how it is fundamentally at odds with how the United States has defined that term for decades. Until that circle is squared, real progress will be difficult to achieve.

 

The one weak point for the United States coming out of this summit is President Trump’s apparent eagerness to take authoritarian despots at their word: In the press conference following the summit, President Trump said, ‘One of the things importantly that chairman Kim promised me last night is … he’s not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear — not going to do testing. So, you know, I trust him, and I take him at his word.’ It is not prudent for the U.S. negotiating team to put blind trust in an autocrat’s verbal statements — Mr. Kim can renege on his assurance at any time, which can put the U.S. in a weaker negotiating position.

 

Overall, this summit moves the United States and North Korea in a positive direction, even if by a marginal amount. Moving the needle is better than no progress at all. But going forward, the U.S. negotiating team should be cautioned on two things: First, they need to clearly understand why North Korea will never fully denuclearize, and second, they need to get big promises in writing. Putting our blind trust in authoritarian rulers is not a recipe for long-term success.”

Lester MunsonLester Munson – NSI Senior Fellow; Former Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“Expectations for this summit were fairly low, but evidently not low enough.  The good news is that the administration demonstrated that it is willing to walk away from the negotiating table when the deal doesn’t materialize. On the other hand, we must now weigh the costs of high-level engagement with a North Korean regime that appears to not be interested in real steps toward denuclearization.  It does real harm to America’s global position to continue to promote the character of Kim Jong-Un and his regime while he continues to process uranium and add to his missile forces. The president has a strong team working on these negotiations.  He should let them take over the discussions and save himself for when and if there is real progress.”


Bryan SmithBryan Smith – NSI Senior Fellow; former Budget Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

“Despite criticism from the national security community, the Singapore summit was generally successful.  It defused tensions that had arguably brought the two countries to the brink of war, and established a basic framework committing Kim to denuclearization in exchange for security guarantees, the end of sanctions, and economic development.  None of this was described in any concrete way, however. Nor did it hint at how to sequence North Korean denuclearization actions, its verification, and commensurate U.S. rewards.

The Vietnam Summit needed to make the basic framework concrete.  Specifically, three things were needed to make this summit a success.  First, the parties needed to agree on what exactly was meant by “denuclearization”.  Second, they then needed to lay out a pathway of future verifiable steps that would lead to that agreed commitment.  Third, the two countries needed to take initial immediate steps, such as a formal freeze in testing and production, met with some concrete and meaningful response from the U.S., well short of lifting core sanctions.

Instead of this business-like approach, Kim Jong-Un pulled a number straight from the North Korean negotiating playbook. Take a Ford Pinto, slap on bondo and a MAACO paint job, and offer to sell it to the U.S. at new model prices.  That in essence, was Kim’s offer to dismantle Yongbyon in exchange for full lifting of sanctions.  Thank God President Trump wasn’t buying it.  Not unlike Reagan at Rekjavik, the President wisely walked away from a bad deal.  In a way, it is hard to blame Kim for his gambit, since the decades long history with the U.S., coupled with the President’s highly-personal and transactional diplomatic style, likely convinced him that the U.S. might bite on such a bad deal.

Provided Kim now makes good on his reported intention to President Trump not to resume missile and weapons testing, negotiations can still be put back on a productive track. “


Todd Womack – NSI Visiting Fellow; former Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“What was said during negotiations around the flawed Iran deal is still true: no deal is better than a bad deal. Despite the desire by the Administration to move the process forward, I am glad the President walked away rather than showing progress for progress sake. Sanctions should not be lifted and pressure must be ratcheted up even more as we work to ensure North Korea’s denuclearization.”

 

 


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.