China

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.

June 24, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Air Force intelligence leader warns U.S. industry of growing risk from China's goal of intellectual property theft to undercut U.S. national security. Pictured, a F-35A Lighting II waits to taxi on the runway at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on May 20. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw.

U.S. adversaries are trying to take control of cyberspace as a medium, resulting in implications to our freedom of maneuver and access in cyberspace, says Brig. Gen. Gregory Gagnon, USAF, director of Intelligence (A2), Headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC), Joint Base Langley-Eustis. Increasing cyberspace activity is coming from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

“We are seeing it not just in volume, but we are seeing an expansion in the ways that they use cyberspace, whether it is to steal information, whether it is to directly influence our citizens or whether it is to disrupt critical infrastructure,” Gen. Gagnon reports. The general spoke at the AFCEA Tidewater chapter’s recent monthly virtual luncheon.

April 30, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses in the medical industrial base, including a dependency on China, indicates Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. Credit: Tumisu/Pixabay

The United States is overly dependent on foreign sources, especially China, for personal protective equipment such as the gear required during pandemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, according to Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

Lord made the comments during an press April 30 press briefing that was streamed online.

March 3, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Philip S. Davidson, USN, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, warns of Chinese aggression in his Tuesday keynote luncheon address at WEST 2020. Photo by Michael Carpenter

A broadly expanded and multifaceted training effort entailing multiple friends and allies will be necessary to forestall Chinese adventurism in the Indo-Pacific region, said the commander of U.S. forces there. Adm. Philip S. Davidson, USN, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, laid out an extensive description of the threat China poses to the global community on the final day of WEST 2020, the conference and exposition in San Diego March 2-3 co-sponsored by AFCEA International and USNI.

February 21, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), is an operating executive for The Carlyle Group and former supreme allied commander of NATO.

The United States is woefully underprepared to protect cyberspace against the worst-case scenarios threatening the country, says the former supreme allied commander of NATO. Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), operating executive for the Carlyle Group, warns that long-term solutions must be paired with near-term actions to prevent a host of cyber threats from crippling the United States militarily and economically.

February 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The National Spectrum Consortium, a Defense Department research and development organization, is central to the Pentagon’s efforts to gain dominance in the 5G arena.

The United States and China are locked in a competition to take command of fifth-generation spectrum technologies known as 5G. Because those technologies will enable autonomous vehicles, smart cities and battlefield operations, the leading nation will reap commercial, economic and military benefits. To spur U.S. innovation, the Defense Department is largely relying on the National Spectrum Consortium, a research and development organization designed to develop revolutionary spectrum-related technologies through collaboration among industry, academia and government agencies.

December 11, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Department has added to new 5G-related requests for prototype proposals to its efforts with the National Spectrum Consortium. Credit: Wit Olszewski/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department has released two more draft requests for prototype proposals seeking fifth-generation (5G) wireless solutions. The newly announced projects are for smart warehousing and asset management for Naval Supply Systems Command and augmented reality and virtual reality at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

November 19, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Phil Davidson, USN, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, speaks at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Bob Goodwin Photography

China has no ambiguities about its concept of the global future. The rising superpower wants to replace the current system of international laws and guaranteed freedoms with one built around Chinese control of geography, commerce and information.

Thus defined, this challenge formed the basis of the keynote luncheon speech on the first day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, held November 19-21 in Honolulu. The speaker was Adm. Phil Davidson, USN, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), and he pulled no punches in describing how China has dropped all illusions of peaceful coexistence in its drive toward global domination.

October 23, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Navy cryptologic technicians stand watch in the combat information center of the USS Milius in the East China Sea. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) intelligence experts are addressing the long-expected emergence of China as a regional adversary with global intentions. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Taylor DiMartino, USN)

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) harbors no illusions about China’s capabilities and intentions, its officials say. Experts who long have followed the Middle Kingdom’s official publications and statements have understood the nation’s aggressive nature and threat to peace and security, according to the director of intelligence (J-2) for INDOPACOM. These issues are now front and center for INDOPACOM as China expands its military and political reach to disrupt the peace and security of the entire Indo-Pacific region.

July 1, 2019
By Chris Nissen
Bill Bickert, assistant commander for supply chain management policy and performance, Naval Supply Systems Command, visits the command’s Fleet Logistics Center–Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters. Supply chain monitoring software is useful; however, ensuring suppliers are providing clean components is crucially important as well. Photo by Carol Williams

Adversaries are exploiting the inherent vulnerabilities of U.S. military supply chains that involve tens of thousands of private sector providers from all over the globe. Attack operations include stealing valuable technical data; striking critical infrastructure, manufacturing and weapon systems control systems; corrupting the quality and assurance across a broad range of product types and categories; and manipulating software to access connected systems and to degrade systems operation integrity.

May 7, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The FBI’s Cyber Division is strengthening its investigative capabilities to battle more and more digital-based crimes from global adversaries, says Amy Hess, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. Credit: Atlantic Council/Image Link

The FBI has a full plate: fighting public corruption, organized and white-collar crime and domestic and foreign terrorism; solving violent crimes; protecting civil rights; neutralizing national security threats, espionage and counterintelligence; and mitigating threats of weapons of mass destruction, among other responsibilities. And one part of the bureau is growing to protect the nation against cyber threats.

February 13, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Thomas Modly, undersecretary of the Navy, discusses Chinese mercantalism while speaking at West 2019. Photo by Michael Carpenter

China is investing heavily in the Indo-Pacific, a critical region of the world for strategic purposes, and luring poorer countries away from the United States, said Thomas Modly, undersecretary of the Navy.

Modly made the comments during an afternoon luncheon address on the first day of the West 2019 Conference in San Diego.  

January 23, 2019
By Joe Marino
Delivering innovative technologies into the hands of warfighters requires streamlined acquisition processes. Photo by Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Drake Nickel

The response to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson’s repeated request to “pick up the pace” of developing and implementing breakthrough technologies for our warfighters has gone, in my opinion, largely unheeded.

This is not the result of a lack of innovative solutions. A myriad of research and development programs exists to support the development of new technologies or to adapt existing commercial technologies to defense applications. Rather, it’s the result of an arcane acquisition process that is burdensome, expensive and lacking vision. Acquisition reform is where we need to pick up the pace!

November 1, 2018
By Lt. Col. Jon Erickson, USAR
Soldiers demonstrate the Command Post Computing Environment prototype at Aberdeen Proving Ground. With a new single tactical server infrastructure plus a common software baseline, it will provide soldiers an underlying core command post system. U.S. Army photo by Dan Lafontaine, PEO C3T

The Warfighter Information Network–Tactical program delivered a digital transformation, enabling maneuver elements to move faster and provide commanders with vital battlefield information in near real-time. Its flexibility facilitated communications in Iraq’s urban environments and Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain. Although a powerful improvement over Mobile Subscriber Equipment, the technologies are not powerful enough to combat adversaries wielding cyber capabilities.

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