China

May 1, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
While Russia has a strong community of private sector hackers willing to engage in global cyber attacks for their nation, the United States also has its own patriotic hackers who can engage in their own form of wreaking digital havoc in Russia—possibly in coordination with U.S. government efforts.  Alexander Geiger/Shutterstock

Russia’s well-known cyber attacks on Western nations could be setting the country up for a powerful backlash, offers a retired U.S. Army expert formerly based in Moscow. After years of relentless penetrations and attacks on databases and infrastructure in U.S. and NATO countries, Russia now is finding itself as much—if not more—of a target of reciprocal cyber assault capabilities increasingly wielded by the West.

April 14, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, USA, chief of staff of INDOPACOM, describes the command's requirements at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) is approaching the future with a wish list connected by the common thread of data. This list includes expected needs in the vast region, but it also features new approaches to maintaining peace and security throughout the region.

This list was offered to luncheon attendees by Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, USA, chief of staff of INDOPACOM, on the third and final day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, held in Honolulu April 11-13. Its theme of “From Data to Dominance” fit perfectly with Gen. Jarrard’s presentation.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. Charles A. Flynn, USA, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, describes Army challenges in the vast region at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

The world’s largest ocean, surrounded by dozens of countries, faces threats that ultimately will be resolved by land forces. And these land forces face considerable challenges in which solutions may be defined by technology.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, DISA director, describes how the agency is meeting Indo-Pacific region challenges at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Dave Livingston photo

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is viewing the Indo-Pacific region with a high level of priority as it modernizes information systems across the defense realm. Two significant adversaries pose serious threats that are technology-oriented, both in terms of advantages and disadvantages, and the agency must address those while replacing outmoded systems.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, USCG, deputy commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, discusses the roles the Coast Guard has taken on in the Indo-Pacific region. Credit: Dave Livingston photo

The U.S. Coast Guard is taking its place alongside the other national security services in cyberspace as it deals with a new mission menu. Its traditional taskings for search and rescue have expanded in scope and complexity, and it also is assuming new operations in an increasingly challenging maritime environment.

April 12, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, describes the solution to the ongoing threat to the international rules-based order at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

Decision superiority is the key to defeating two serious attempts to overturn the international rules-based order, said a U.S. fleet commander. Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, described how the threat is coming from two directions in two different timelines, but both are serious and must be answered with a large-scale approach.

Adm. Paparo’s remarks came in the opening keynote address at TechNet Indo-Pacific, being held in Honolulu April 11-13. With its theme of “From Data to Dominance,” the event emphasized the importance of digital operations in the highly dynamic and challenging Indo-Pacific region.

April 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The Commonwealth of Australia, the sixth largest country in the world, is seeing the geopolitical environment shift in its Indo-Pacific region.

The Commonwealth of Australia, the sixth largest country in the world, is seeing the geopolitical environment shift in its Indo-Pacific region. As a result, it is bolstering its military and technological capabilities. It is building sovereign capabilities as well as leveraging emerging solutions through its important partnerships, explains Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australia’s ambassador to the United States.

March 2, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: spainter_vfx/Shutterstock

Concern over chip shortages may be drowning out a more significant supply chain threat. The circuit boards on which chips reside may become an endangered species in the United States as manufacturers increasingly rely on offshore sources. This in turn would be as damaging as being unable to obtain chips.

“Chips don’t float,” says William Marsh, president of the Printed Circuit Board Association of America and vice president of government relations for TTM Technologies. “They have to have a home.”

February 17, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Adm. Samuel Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, speaks at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Information operations is one of the critical elements to the U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region, Adm. Samuel Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, told the audience at the WEST 2022 conference and exposition hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute in San Diego February 16-18.

February 18, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Panelists at WEST 2022 explore new strategy approaches for the Navy. Photo by Michael Carpenter

A WEST conference and exhibition panel discussion designed deliberately to be provocative questioned whether the U.S. Navy’s strategy permits the kind of innovation necessary to vie with peer competitors such as China.

Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau, USN (Ret.), president, Naval Postgraduate School, moderated the discussion. The panel also included Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., USN (Ret.), former vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Bran Ferren, co-founder and chief creative officer, Applied Minds LLC; and Steve Blank, adjunct professor, Stanford University and senior fellow for innovation, Columbia University.

February 17, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) appears on a video screen above fellow panelist Elbridge A. Colby (l), co-founder and principal, the Marathon Initiative, and panel host Adm. William F. Moran, USN (Ret.), former vice chief of naval operations, in the opening session of day 2 at WEST 2022 in San Diego. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The United States must abandon ambiguity and declare its intentions to stand up to aggression or face its consequences sooner than many think possible, leading experts say. Their warnings largely concerned the Indo-Pacific region, but the principle can apply worldwide as threats are growing and challenges to peace and security are becoming more overt.

February 16, 2022
By George I. Seffers
While U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific region are adapting quickly, the pace of change should be faster to compete with China, officials say. Photo by Michael Carpenter

U.S. military officials in the Indo-Pacific region agree that to compete with China, U.S. naval forces should adapt more quickly.

Asked specifically by an audience member at WEST 2022, the conference and exposition hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute in San Diego February 16-18, whether the military is adapting quickly enough for China, multiple members of a panel agreed that the answer is “no.”

February 16, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Harry Harris Jr., USN (Ret.), former commander of U.S. Pacific Command, describes the status of rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region to the opening keynote audience at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Alliances are the greatest strength the United States possesses as it confronts increased tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, said a former combatant commander for that area. And they must be buttressed by unambiguous words and actions by the United States before critical actions erupt.

February 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Marines with the 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 use a CH-53-E to lift an M777 Howitzer in Hawaii in January. The Marine Corps is developing a different kind of regiment, called the Marine Littoral Regiment, to perform expeditionary, advanced base operations. Credit:  USMC, 1st Battalion

The U.S. Marine Corps is focusing its activities to support more expeditionary warfare to guard against near-peer adversaries, such as China and Russia. The service’s work is all part of a greater force construction effort, which includes a new infantry battalion construct that leaders are developing to be capable of operating in a more globally distributed fashion in a contested maritime environment. One particular warfighting group that the service is creating is the so-called Marine Littoral Regiment.

November 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Galt speaks in 2017 to U.S. Armed Forces service members in Mongolia during the annual Khaan Quest, the Mongolian-hosted exercise designed to strengthen the capabilities of the U.S., Mongolia and other partner nations in international peacekeeping operations. Galt emphasizes the need for strengthening U.S. partnerships, given the threat that China presents in the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Rosas

The People’s Republic of China is engaging in coercion, lawfare, militarization, human rights violations, imperialism and cyber espionage, say experts. These actions are part of a well-funded and well-organized whole-of-government thrust to be the dominant power in the world, and how the United States addresses these efforts may well determine the status of the world in the 21st century.The threat to the Indo-Pacific region, to the U.S.

October 25, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An airman from the Weapons Load Crew at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, prepares for operations. The service is shifting how it projects air power in response to near-peer threats. Credit: Air Force photo

In a near-peer environment, the assumption of homeland safety may not be valid. Dangerous capabilities, such as hypersonics, in development by adversaries, call into risk the safety of U.S. facilities. Allies, like those in the Middle East, who face daily threats already have protective measures, suggests Gen. Mark Kelly, USAF, commander, Air Combat Command, or the ACC. China, who is advancing hypersonics and is considered the greatest threat to America, has its own considerable protections.

The general, who spoke during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies Aerospace Nation virtual event on October 25, said he would like to see additional defenses for U.S. Air Force bases on the homefront.

September 15, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA (c), commander, U.S. Cyber Command, speaks on a panel at the Intelligence and National Security Summit. Photo by Herman Farrer

The cyber activities of Russia to try and impact the U.S. presidential elections of 2016 and 2020 are well known, spoken about by U.S. military cyber and other leaders. Going forward toward the mid-term election of 2022, the roster of countries attempting to harm U.S. processes is growing, reports Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, commander, U.S. Cyber Command. And the command is already preparing to protect the 2022 elections.

August 1, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
Airman 1st Class William King, USAF, technician, 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron, troubleshoots a modem connected to a parabolic dish in August, at RAF Mildenhall, England. JADC2 relies on globe-spanning high bandwidth links like these. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron

Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed off on the U.S. Defense Department’s first-ever strategy for Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, giving his imprimatur to an ambitious vision of a fully networked U.S. military.

JADC2 aims to provide rear-echelon commanders with continuous connectivity to front-line sensors, providing real-time data and offering an unassailable decision advantage to U.S. forces.

On the digitally managed battlefield envisaged by JADC2, autonomous vehicles and networked weapons would be remotely controlled via cloud-based AI-enabled software, so that a coordinated attack by land, sea, air and cyber forces can be launched with the swipe of a finger.

August 1, 2021
By Cmdr. Erika De La Parra Gehlen, USN
National security objectives can only be achieved when the government and private sector work together. NSA

As China continues to threaten U.S. national security through a whole-of-society warfare strategy, a government-private sector partnership must be a fundamental component of the U.S. government’s approach to information advantage and countering China’s attacks.

July 29, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A new threat-based strategy and a reorganization at the Defense Intelligence Agency will help the agency more effectively share intelligence on competing countries such as China and Russia. Credit: helloRuby/Shutterstock

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) will release a new threat-based strategy very soon and is undergoing a reorganization to create a Directorate for Global Integration, says Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, USA, the agency’s director.

“We have some changes at DIA that are cooking right now. The first is a new strategy. That is a strategic approach that includes intelligence advantage, a culture of innovation, allies and partnerships, and an adaptive workforce,” he says.

July 13, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
A view of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city, extends over the horizon. Military action by China against Taiwan may “only be a matter of time, and not a matter of ‘if,’” warns Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, USN, the intelligence leader, or J-2, of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Credit: Shutterstock/SkyImages

For 25 years, Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, USN, director, J-2, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, has been sounding the warning bell about the government of China and the threat it brings to the world and the United States. The threat is real, and China’s intent is clear, the leader has warned. The United States must now examine the time elements associated with China’s dangerous moves, the intelligence leader says. 

June 16, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Devis M/Shutterstock

NATO is increasing the amount of joint work on command and control (C2) systems as a result of increases in common funding, according to the alliance’s secretary general. Jens Stoltenberg told a media roundtable that “We are on the right track” as the allies are stepping up to meet changing challenges. These efforts include developing an offensive cyber capability and establishing a unified approach to China.

April 15, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: William Potter/Shutterstock

From the virtual realm to zero gravity, China is posing a serious threat to U.S. national security that goes far beyond the Earth. With a strategic thrust designed to buttress and expand the reach of the Chinese Communist Party, the country is engaged in a long march for control that currently includes operations inside the United States as well as in orbit and beyond.

April 13, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Sittipong Phokawattana/Shutterstock

Global changes increasing at an accelerated pace will drive new threats to international security, and some of these are already manifest in the worldscape, according to a pair of just-released U.S. intelligence community forecasts. Yet the diversity of these changes and their possible outcomes offer different potential scenarios ranging from “a renaissance of democracies” to “tragedy and mobilization.”

March 2, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: FOTOGRIN/Shutterstock

China’s quest for global dominance is definitive and open, said the director for intelligence (J-2) in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, USN, held little back as he described China’s maneuvering and aggressive tactics as it pursues a long-term strategy of world domination.

April 9, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A communications tower for military 5G rises above a forest. Several challenges loom as the U.S. Defense Department strives to implement 5G into the force. Credit: M.Moira/Shutterstock

The revolutionary advantages offered by defense use of 5G technology could be undone if the United States doesn’t begin now to meet and overcome a set of challenges, said an expert from the National Security Agency (NSA). These challenges range from developing effective security measures to ensuring the supply chain is not contaminated by parts made by foreign adversaries.

April 1, 2021
By Shaun Waterman
NASA astronauts Shannon Walker (l), Victor Glover (second from l), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi (second from r), and NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins (r), walk toward their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The November launch was the first time NASA personnel had traveled into orbit aboard a commercial space vehicle.  NASA/Joel Kowsky via Flickr

Ever since the Sputnik scare of 1957, space has been front and center on the U.S. national security agenda. Successive administrations have highlighted the essential role of space-based capabilities such as GPS, satellite imagery and real-time global communications in undergirding U.S. military power.

March 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The United States already is losing positional advantage to China in the Western Hemisphere, in our own “neighborhood,” warns Adm. Craig S. Faller, USN, commander, U.S. Southern Command, testifying before Congress on March 16.

China is using the COVID-19 pandemic to progress its goal of global dominance. The adversary is using its vaccination program and assistance to poorer countries in the democratic Western Hemisphere to cement the use of China’s 5G communications and information technology, especially in the Caribbean and Central and South America, leaders say. The problem is that what starts as a veiled commercial interest ends with a significant military application and connection—given that the commercial companies, like Huawei, are all state owned, explained Adm. Craig S. Faller, USN, commander, U.S. Southern Command.

March 4, 2021
By George I. Seffers
China is often first in the information operations competition, keeping the United States and its allies and partners in the Asia Pacific on defense. Credit: andriano.cz/Shutterstock

With its rapid-fire information operations campaign, China effectively outguns the United States and its partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, according to three military officers from the United States and Australia.

March 3, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The newly commissioned National Security Cutter Midgett conducts sea trials on February 25. The U.S. Coast Guard needs to be more nimble in the Pacific region. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries

The seas of the Indo-Pacific region are an increasingly complex maritime environment. To combat an increase in nefarious activity, protect U.S. economic security and thwart brazen adversaries, the U.S. Coast Guard is adding resources to its operations there, says Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, USCG, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Defense Force West and commander, Pacific Area, presented a keynote address Thursday at AFCEA’s TechNet Indo-Pacific conference.

March 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The USS Wilbur (l) conducts replenishment at sea with Japanese and French ships. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is expanding its exercise and training activities with allies and partners to boost its deterrent capabilities across the vast region.  U.S. Navy courtesy of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

“The erosion of conventional deterrence vis-à-vis China” is the greatest danger the United States faces in the Indo-Pacific region, says the head of the vast area’s command. Adm. Philip Davidson, USN, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), added that “without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China will be emboldened to take action to supplant the established rules-based international order.”

March 1, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
China’s consolidated control its political mechanisms enables a unity of effort difficult to achieve in democracies. Credit: Shutterstock/Poring Studio

The rise of the People’s Republic China as a peer competitor vying for superpower status has emerged as an important challenge for the United States. To confront this competition, policy and decision makers must preserve and extend U.S. global interests to deter China if necessary and work in the international system in which the United States plays a vital role.

March 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: DHS

The entire nation must engage in an informed debate about cybersecurity and how to stop the damage being inflicted by adversaries through cyberspace, says the director of intelligence for the U.S. Cyber Command. Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci, USAF, J-2 for the U.S. Cyber Command, says this debate must explore whether the roles played in cyber defense stay the way they are or change.

February 8, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. John Raymond, USSF, chief of space operations, is seeing increased cooperation among the new U.S. Space Force and international partners.

The formation of the U.S. Space Force has led to more advanced cooperation in the space domain with existing and new partners, according to the force’s chief of space operations. Gen. John Raymond, USSF, noted that some nations even followed the U.S. example in giving space an increased priority as a warfighting domain.

Speaking at a Defense Writers Group media roundtable, Gen. Raymond stated that the United States is stronger as a nation with a stable and secure space domain. “The United States is a spacefaring nation, and we’ve long known that access to space and freedom to maneuver in space underpin all the instruments of our national power,” he declared.

February 2, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
China owes much of its economic growth to technologies purloined from the United States via cyber espionage. Credit: Sangoiri/Shutterstock

The greatest threat the United States faces is through cyber attacks on economic targets, and the worst adversary in this realm is China, according to the director of intelligence for the U.S. Cyber Command. Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci, USAF, J-2 for the Cyber Command, declared that China’s pilferage of intellectual property represents a major strike against the United States as part of the Middle Kingdom’s plan for global domination.

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The vast troves of personal data on U.S. citizens are now being weaponized by foreign adversaries, panelists warn.at TechNet Cyber. Credit: Meranna/Shutterstock

Massive amounts of sensitive information on U.S. citizens are being collected, created, shared, bought and sold, and in some cases used as a weapon by the country’s adversaries, according to a panel of experts speaking at the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

The information is gathered and sold by companies such as Facebook and Google and the producers of a wide range of applications, programs and technologies. 

November 4, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Cybersecurity officials reporter few cyber attack interruptions on Election Day. Credit: Shutterstock/vesperstock

Despite attempts from adversaries such as China, Iran and Russia to compromise voting on America’s Election Day, the election system worked well, even with the record levels of voting, reported senior officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The cybersecurity concerns now move to protecting the final vote counting, canvasing, auditing, certification and inauguration phases.

September 22, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Ships of the U.S. Navy, the Indian Navy, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Philippine Navy transit through international waters in the South China Sea. Nations increasingly are working together in the face of Chinese aggression in the region. Credit: Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force

In its quest for global supremacy, China has overtaken the United States in some areas but remains uncertain of its own position in head-to-head competition. The United States can take advantage of this status, but must be careful of overconfidence.

These were two key points expressed by Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, USN, director of intelligence/J-2, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM). Speaking at a virtual AFCEA Hawaii Chapter luncheon, Adm. Studeman cited these elements as he focused on seven myths about China.

September 18, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/stefano carniccio

The United States and its great power rivals are taking different paths in their pursuit of artificial intelligence (AI), but all three are devoting significant resources to what they believe will be a game changer. Their uses of AI also are likely to be different, as their approach to ethics varies according to each nation’s principles.

A breakout session panel provided a global view on the race for AI during the third and final day of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit being held online September 16-18. Panelists assessed the differences in AI research and applications among Russia, China and the United States.

September 17, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Photomarine

China is steadily pursuing its global goals based on a series of core issues that are not likely to be affected by international actions, said a panel of experts. The United States must take bipartisan actions to boost its own standing relative to China, even if the upcoming election results in a change of parties in the White House come January 2021.

These were among many points introduced by experts in a breakout session during the second day of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit being held online September 16-18. They assessed China’s activities in and against the United States and recommended some actions to be taken by U.S. leaders.

September 16, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Just as with terrorism, disinformation can be home-grown and as damaging to a democracy as its foreign counterpart. It will take a partnered effort among all people and elements of a democracy to combat disinformation and restore truth to its mantle of supremacy before the institutions that underpin freedom crumble under the weight of lies and other propaganda. The threat is growing and is widespread, as purveyors of falsehoods adjust their tactics to increase effectiveness.

September 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/FOTOGRIN

China’s global moves to gain technological hegemony over 5G and reshape the Internet to suit its own needs offer the potential to give the Middle Kingdom control over the telecommunications market and information itself. At the very least, it would achieve market dominance. But at most, it would control both the nature of the Internet and the information that flows through it, say Internet experts.

August 28, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Herr Loeffler

U.S. trade secrets are being stolen by Chinese espionage at an alarming rate, and a Justice Department initiative is focusing on stopping the stealing. While cyber espionage is well known and hugely effective, the insider threat has shown to be equally damaging as the Middle Kingdom fuels its economic and military sectors with state-of-the-art U.S. technology.

July 22, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S., Australian and Japanese forces participate in a trilateral exercise dedicated to a free and open Pacific. These and other nations are worried about China's aggression in the wake of the Middle Kingdom reneging on its 50-year promise of economic and political autonomy to Hong Kong. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a sweeping effect across the Indo-Pacific region, but ultimately the most disruptive security threat to that vast area may turn out to be China’s strongarm moves against Hong Kong, says the head of the U.S. command for that region. Adm. Phil Davidson, USN, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, specifically cited the Hong Kong crackdown as having a greater effect on security over that hemisphere of the globe.

July 8, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/metamorworks

Last of a multipart series.

The success of China’s foray into Internet control ultimately may be determined by the growth of the Internet itself, according to an Internet expert. While China seeks economic benefit from having its prime technology companies become the providers of choice for Internet customers, it also looks forward to being able to control Internet use outside of its borders. The ongoing evolution of the Internet, particularly its spread into a growing number of devices, may be China’s best asset for realizing its aims.

July 10, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Wth

Threats to global security now include the ongoing pandemic, its exploitation by international malefactors and climate change, according to an ad-hoc group of international defense and national security experts. These experts spent two days brainstorming the future online, and their findings were analyzed by the world’s most well-known artificial intelligence (AI) computer.

Titled “Securing the Post-COVID Future,” the event exchanged ideas among active duty military and civilian expertise with several international organizations. Findings during the 50-hour nonstop event were evaluated by tools from Watson, IBM’s question-answering computer that bested Jeopardy!’s top two champions in a competition a few years ago.

July 8, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Air Force Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach performs preflight procedures in his F-22 Raptor before his final flight as commander of the Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Region and Eleventh Air Force, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in August 2018. Gen. Wilsbach takes the helm as commander of the Pacific Air Forces, succeeding Gen. Charles Brown, who is moving to be the next chief of the Air Force. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Peña

After two years as the commander of the Pacific Air Forces, or PACAF, Gen. Charles Brown Jr., USAF, moves on from guiding airmen and operations in the complicated region. During a time of growing near-peer competition from China, Gen. Brown leaves advice for the new commander of PACAF, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, USAF. Gen. Wilsbach, who also will receive his fourth star, takes the helm at PACAF today.

Previously, Gen. Wilsbach was the commander of the 7th Air Force and the deputy commander of U.S. Forces in Korea.

When asked what advice he would give to the new PACAF commander, Gen. Brown, speaking virtually to AFCEA International’s Hawaii monthly chapter meeting last week, suggested that, “relationships really matter.”

July 2, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/AlexLMX

Third of a multipart series.

The seeds of future telecommunications are being planted in China. But the question remains, will they take root globally?

China’s cyber policy has both economic and political sides to it. On the economic side, flooding the global market with subsidized Chinese-made technologies offers the chance for major financial rewards as this equipment and its services become ubiquitous. On the political side, introducing Chinese standards to the Internet and cellular service will give the nation control over both services and data.

June 24, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Aleksandar Malivuk

Second of a multipart series.

China’s high-technology communications and networking industries are proposing a host of future capabilities to come if vendors cast their lot with companies such as Huawei and ZTE. But these new technologies, once ensconced, would lead their users down a path closed to others and open to Chinese government control, say Internet experts.

June 18, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/AlexLMX

First of a multipart series.

The next-generation Internet proposed by Huawei and supported by the Chinese government would provide a platform for revolutionary capabilities while implementing repressive measures that would eliminate today’s open communication. At worst, it would place control of Internet content in the hands of a few masters. But even if it does not subsume the entire Internet, it would cripple the interoperability that has characterized the network’s value as an economic growth engine by creating separate and unequal Internets.