176. Innovation Isn’t Enough: How Creativity Enables Disruptive Strategic Thinking

[Editor’s Note: Mad Scientist Laboratory welcomes today’s guest blogger Heather Venable and her timely and insightful post on how creativity is the sine qua non for disruptive strategic thinking.  An enduring tension exists between entrenched interests and truly innovative ideas.  Creativity, and a willingness to disregard precedent, is what sets apart change agents (like BG William “Billy” Mitchell, pictured above); enabling them to overcome the inherent resistance to new and innovative warfighting technologies and concepts.  The U.S. Army is at a historical inflection point — we must seek out and heed our creative disruptive strategic thinkers to spawn an overarching strategic vision that will guide our way ahead.  Anything less condemns us to preparing to fight the last war, not the next! (Note:  Some of the embedded links in this post are best accessed using non-DoD networks.)]

I sometimes begin teaching an airpower class by asking students to compile a list of the most strategically effective uses of airpower. Responses tend to range from the Battle of Britain to Normandy to Desert Storm. Occasionally a student will even cite a compelling example of non-kinetic airpower, such as the Berlin Airlift. To this list I like to add a different example: the use of four civilian airliners against the United States on September 11, 2001. The strategic effect of this relatively inexpensive and asymmetric use of force has been vast, to include resulting in ten percent of the nation’s national debt.1

Source:  FBI (https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/about-us/ten-years-after-the-fbi-since-9-11/the-flights)

But the U.S. tends to think more conventionally about future conflict, in part because it has been able to rest on technological superiority for so long. Now, though, it must think differently. Isaac Asimov offers a path toward new strategic solutions through creativity, a process that can be mastered by “becoming dissatisfied” with the current state of “knowledge” and then “rejecting” some or all of it for new approaches.2  In other words, the essence of creativity is thinking differently.

Truly creative thinking can be difficult to find. The defense community recognizes creativity’s importance in theory, but it has not fostered it in practice. One commentator, for example, recently called for the military to develop “creative solutions” to acquire new technology, citing the example of a “commercial cloud.” But this idea is not new at all, thus demonstrating how the word is thrown around without much reflection.3  A technical rationalist mindset, moreover, pervades much of the Department of Defense (DOD), with cursory mentions of creativity predominantly linked to inventing new products.

Innovation continually underperforms in part because it is the follow-on to ideas, not the precursor, and because it results in solutions for the tactical level of war. Previous eras of transformational change, however, required societies to tackle “primarily intellectual, not technical” challenges.4  Placing too much emphasis on what to fight with results in a lack of knowledge of how to fight or to what end. The National Defense Strategy epitomizes this trend at times, explaining that “success no longer goes to the country that develops a new fighting technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and adapts its way of fighting.” This comment diverges only slightly from traditional technological determinism, asserting that how one integrates technology into its organization determines who wins.5

Those responsible for crafting U.S. strategy must foster new ways of thinking to challenge the nation’s current strategic paradigm.6  Although the U.S. military acknowledges this need—recognizing that peer adversaries have been studying its successes since Operation Desert Storm—it has not figured out how to change the rules of the game because of “functional fixedness,” or the process whereby cognitive bias “limits the way we use an object to what it was originally intended for and keeps us from seeking new usages.”7  This way of thinking helps to explain why IBM, for example, did not “invent the personal computer.” Repeatedly we see institutions and organizations struggle to reject aspects of their past success in order to embrace asymmetric, transformative advantages and thinking.8

Kodak analog film / Source: Max Pixel

Take Multi-Domain Operations as an example. The Army and Air Force’s newest solution to future warfighting has striking overlaps with its predecessor AirLand Battle.9 It seeks to improve upon Jointness, even as it exacerbates the communication requirements that constitute the nation’s warfighting Achilles heel.10  It provides evolutionary improvements but no shift in strategy because the military feels more comfortable focusing on operational solutions.11

This approach characterizes the U.S. military’s tendency over the last decades as a “continuous movement away from the political objectives of war toward a focus on killing and destroying things,” as epitomized by the current emphasis on lethality.12  This propensity can be seen in the Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority 2.0’s mission statement (see Figure 1, below).  Currently, the mission statement sandwiches hints of a holistic naval strategy between “prompt and sustained combat” and “decisive combat operations.” Those operational and tactical tasks go last, not first and last.

Figure 1: Mission Statement (highlighting added) 13

One of the easiest ways to facilitate the transformative and creative process is to locate strategists on cultural fault lines because they trigger new ways of seeing and understanding, which helps them envision how to change the rules of the game rather than reacting to what others do. As Everett Dolman explains:

When confronted with an unbreakable logic, such as the paper-scissors-rock dilemma of the Swiss pike, which is superior to the French cavalry, which is superior to the Spanish tercio, which is superior to the Swiss pike, ad infinitum, the only way out is to move beyond the conundrum and change the rules of the game.14

This problem is made more challenging by differences in perspective between tactical thinkers and strategic ones.15  A tactical thinker concentrates on the short-term prospect of winning a clear-cut victory. A strategic thinker, by contrast, plays the long game, continually asking “then what?”  At times, these two perspectives exist in tension. In the case of a father who wants to teach his daughter how to play chess, the tactical mindset of seeking to “win” a game sits at odds with the more strategic perspective of ensuring that the father does not extinguish the daughter’s motivation to learn when she keeps losing.16

The Department of Defense has embraced innovation. It is time to do the same for ideas, not just to produce the latest weapons technology but to provide an overarching strategic vision for where we want and need to go. Until then, we will continue preparing mostly to fight the last war, not the next one.

If you enjoyed this post, please see:

Making the Future More Personal: The Oft-Forgotten Human Driver in Future’s Analysis and The Changing Dynamics of Innovation, by Mr. Ian Sullivan

The entire Mad Scientist Disruption and the Operational Environment Conference Final Report, dated 25 July 2019.

Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Mr. Bob Work‘s presentation from the aforementioned conference on AI and Future Warfare: The Rise of the Robots (and Army Futures Command), as well as his Modern War Institute podcast assessing the future battlefield.

Heather Venable is an assistant professor of military and security studies at the U.S. Air Command and Staff College and teaches in the Department of Airpower. She has written a forthcoming book entitled How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique, 1874-1918.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).


1 Kimberly Amadeo, “War on Terror Facts, Costs, and Timeline,” 25 June 2019, https://www.thebalance.com/war-on-terror-facts-costs-timeline-3306300.

2 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (New York: Harper, 2013), 90.

3 VADM T.J. White, RDML Danelle Barrett, and LCDR Robert Bebber, “The Future of Information Combat Power: Winning the Information War,” 14 March 2019, http://cimsec.org/the-future-of-information-combat-power-winning-the-information-war/39934?fbclid=IwAR3DF3vZthb_ipk1A57Uih7Vz1yht1_i9QBuDESLHzcZ8OtcOSl8Oh5i398.

4 Quoted in Dave Lyle, “Fifth Generation Warfare and Other Myths: Clarifying Muddled Thinking in Our Current Defense Debates,” 4 Dec 2017, https://othjournal.com/2017/12/04/fifth-generation-warfare-and-other-myths-clarifying-muddled-thinking-in-our-current-defense-debates/. For more on the failure to innovate organizationally, see Lt. Gen. Michael G. Dana, “Future War: Not Back to the Future,” 6 Mar 2019, War on the Rocks; https://warontherocks.com/2019/03/future-war-not-back-to-the-future/.

5 Quoted in Zachery Tyson Brown, “All This ‘Innovation’ Won’t Save the Pentagon,” 23 April 2019, https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/04/all-innovation-wont-save-pentagon/156487/.

6 See James A. Russell, James J. Wirtz, Donald Abenheim, Thomas-Durrell Young, and Diana Wueger, Navy Strategy Development: Strategy in the 21st Century, June 2015, 4; https://news.usni.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/NPS-Strategy-Report-Final-June-16-2015-2.pdf#viewer.action=download.

7 Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, Version 2.0, December 2018, 3, available online at https://news.usni.org/2018/12/17/design-maintaining-maritime-superiority-2-0; Scott Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire, Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (New York: Tarcher Perigee, 2016), 182.

8 Wired to Create, 95.

9 See, for example, Colin Clark, “Army Unveils Multi-Domain Concept; Joined at Hip with Air Force,” 10 Oct 2018, Breaking Defense, https://breakingdefense.com/2018/10/army-unveils-multi-domain-concept-joined-at-hip-with-air-force/.

10 See, for example, Jacquelyn Schneider, “Digitally-Enabled Warfare: The Capability-Vulnerability Paradox,” 29 Aug 2016, https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/digitally-enabled-warfare-the-capability-vulnerability-paradox.

11 See, for example, LTC Antulio J. Echevarria II, “An American Way of War or Way of Battle,” Parameters, 1 January 2004, https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=662.

12 Frederick Kagan, Finding the Target (New York: Encounter Books, 2006), 358; Peter Haynes, Toward a New Maritime Strategy: American Naval Thinking in the Post-Cold War Era (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015), 5.

13 Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, Version 2.0, December 2018, 1.

14 For an example from the popular movie Princess Bride that Dolman discusses as well, see Mark McNeilly, “’The Princess Bride’ and the Man in Black’s Lessons in Competitive Strategy,” 2 October 2012, https://www.fastcompany.com/3001732/princess-bride-and-man-blacks-lessons-competitive-strategy.

15 Everett Carl Dolman, “Seeking Strategy” in Strategy: Context and Adaptation from Archidamus to Airpower. Eds. Richard Bailey and James Forsyth (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2016), 5-37.

16 Dolman, “Seeking Strategy,” 18.

175. “I Know the Sound it Makes When It Lies” AI-Powered Tech to Improve Engagement in the Human Domain

[Editor’s Note:  Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to publish today’s post by guest bloggers LTC Arnel P. David, LTC (Ret) Patrick James Christian, PhD, and Dr. Aleksandra Nesic, who use storytelling to illustrate how the convergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data, augmented and enhanced reality, and deception detection algorithms could complement decision-making in future specialized engagements.  Enjoy this first in a series of three posts exploring how game changing tech will enhance operations in the Human Domain!]

RAF A400 Atlas / Source:  Flickr, UK MoD, by Andrew Linnett

It is 2028. Lt Col Archie Burton steps off the British A400-M Atlas plane onto the hard pan desert runway of Banku Airfield, Nigeria. This is his third visit to Nigeria, but this time he is the commander of the Engagement Operations Group – Bravo (EOG-B). This group of bespoke, specialized capabilities is the British Army’s agile and highly-trained force for specialized engagement. It operates amongst the people and builds indigenous mass with host nation security forces. Members of this outfit operate in civilian clothes and speak multiple languages with academic degrees ranging from anthropology to computational science.

Source:  Flickr, Com Salud

Archie donned his Viz glasses on the drive to a meeting with local leadership of the town of Banku. Speaking to his AI assistant, “Jarvis,” Archie cycles through past engagement data to prep for the meeting and learn the latest about the local town and its leaders. Jarvis is connected to a cloud-computing environment, referred to as “HDM” for “Human Doman Matrix,” where scientifically collected and curated population data is stored, maintained, and integrated with a host of applications to support operations in the human domain in both training and deployed settings.

Several private organizations that utilize integrated interdisciplinary social science have helped NATO, the U.K. MoD, and the U.S. DoD develop CGI-enabled virtual reality experiences to accelerate learning for operators who work in challenging conflict settings laden with complex psycho-social and emotional dynamics that drive the behaviour and interactions of the populations on the ground. Together with NGOs and civil society groups, they collected ethnographic data and combined it with phenomenological qualitative inquiry using psychology and sociology to curate anthropological stories that reflect specific cultural audiences.

EOG-Bravo’s mission letter from Field Army Headquarters states that they must leverage the extensive and complex human network dynamic to aid in the recovery of 11 females kidnapped by the Islamic Revolutionary Brotherhood (IRB) terrorist group. Two of the females are British citizens, who were supporting a humanitarian mission with the ‘Save the Kids’ NGO prior to being abducted.

At the meeting in Banku, the mayor, police chief, and representative from Save the Kids were present. Archie was welcomed by handshakes and hugs by the police chief who was a former student at Sandhurst and knows Archie from past deployments. The discussion leaped immediately into the kidnapping situation.

The girls were last seen transiting a jungle area North of Oyero. Our organization is in contact by email with one of the IRB facilitators. He is asking for £2 million and we are ready to make that payment,” said Simon Moore of Save the Kids.

Archie’s Viz glasses scanned the facial expressions of those present and Jarvis cautioned him regarding the behaviour of the police chief whose micro facial expressions and eyes revealed a biological response of excitement at the mention of the £2M.

Archie asks “Chief Adesola, what do you think? Should we facilitate payment?

Hmmm, I’m not sure. We don’t know what the IRB will do. We should definitely consider it though,” said Police Chief Adesola.

The Viz glasses continued to feed the facial expressions into HDM, where the recurrent AI neural network recognition algorithm, HOMINID-AI, detected a lie. The AI system and human analysts at the Land Information Manoeuvre Centre (LIMOC) back in the U.K. estimate with a high-level of confidence that Chief Adesola was lying.

At the LIMOC, a 24-hour operation under 77th Brigade, Sgt Richards, determines that the Police Chief is worthy of surveillance by EOG-Alpha, Archie’s sister battlegroup. EOG-Alpha informs local teams in Lagos to deploy unmanned ground sensors and collection assets to monitor the police chief.

Small teams of 3-4 soldiers depart from Lagos in the middle of the night to link up with host nation counterparts. Together, the team of operators and Nigerian national-level security forces deploy sensors to monitor the police chief’s movements and conversations around his office and home.

The next morning, Chief Adesola is picked up by a sensor meeting with an unknown associate. The sensor scanned this associate and the LIMOC processed an immediate hit — he was a leader of the IRB; number three in their chain of command. EOG-A’s operational element is alerted and ordered to work with local security forces to detain this terrorist leader.  Intelligence collected from him and the Chief will hopefully lead them to the missing females…

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for Part 2 on the Human Domain Matrix, Part 3 on Emotional Warfare in Yemen, and check out the following links to other works by today’s blog post authors:

Operationalizing the Science of the Human Domain by Aleks Nesic and Arnel P. David

A Psycho-Emotional Human Security Analytical Framework by Patrick J. Christian, Aleksandra Nesic, David Sniffen, Tasneem Aljehani, Khaled Al Sumairi, Narayan B. Khadka, Basimah Hallawy, and Binamin Konlan

Military Strategy in the 21st Century:  People, Connectivity, and Competition by Charles T. Cleveland, Benjamin Jensen, Susan Bryant, and Arnel P. David

… and see the following MadSci Lab blog posts on how AI can augment our Leaders’ decision-making on the battlefield:

Takeaways Learned about the Future of the AI Battlefield

The Guy Behind the Guy: AI as the Indispensable Marshal, by Mr. Brady Moore and Mr. Chris Sauceda

LTC Arnel P. David is an Army Strategist serving in the United Kingdom as the U.S. Special Assistant for the Chief of the General Staff. He recently completed an Artificial Intelligence Program from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

LTC (Ret) Patrick James Christian, PhD is co-founder of Valka-Mir and a Psychoanalytical Anthropologist focused on the psychopathology of violent ethnic and cultural conflict. He a retired Special Forces officer serving as a social scientist for the Psychological Operations Task Forces in the Arabian Peninsula and Afghanistan, where he constructs psychological profiles of designated target audiences.

Aleksandra Nesic, PhD is co-founder of Valka-Mir and Visiting Faculty for the Countering Violent Extremism and Countering Terrorism Fellowship Program at the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), USSOCOM. She is also Visiting Faculty, U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School, and a Co-Founder and Senior Researcher of Complex Communal Conflicts at Valka-Mir Human Security, LLC.

Acknowledgements:  Special Thanks to the British Army Future Force Development Team for their help in creating the British characters depicted in this first story.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

 

 

174. A New Age of Terror: The Future of CBRN Terrorism

[Editor’s Note:  Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to publish today’s post by guest blogger Zachary Kallenborn.  In the first of a series of posts, Mr. Kallenborn addresses how the convergence of emerging technologies is eroding barriers to terrorist organizations acquiring the requisite equipment, materiel, and expertise to develop and deliver chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents in an attack.  Learn about the challenges that (thankfully) remain and the ramifications for the operational environment.  (Note:  Some of the embedded links in this post are best accessed using non-DoD networks.)]

Unidentified drones spotted over the Thayer Monument at West Point.

On the evening of July 15, 2034, 264 West Point cadets reported to the hospital with a severe, but unknown illness. West Point Military Police (MP) investigated the incident and discovered video footage of two men launching several autonomous drones from a pickup truck near the base, then driving off. A suspicious fire the same night at a local apartment complex revealed remnants of 3D printers and synthetic biology kits. The investigation remains ongoing…

 

Such a scenario is fantasy, but increasingly plausible.

Various emerging technologies reduce the barriers to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism — bioterrorism in particular. The convergence of these technologies used may allow terrorists to acquire CBRN weapons with minimal identifiable signatures. Although these technologies exist today, their sophistication, availability, and terrorist interest in their use is likely to grow over the coming decades. For example, the first powered model airplane was flown in 1937; however, terrorists did not attempt to use drones until 1994.1  Thankfully, major challenges will still inhibit truly catastrophic CBRN terror.

Acquisition

Kasumigaseki Station, one of the many stations affected during the Tokyo subway sarin attack by Aum Shinrikyo / Source:  Wikimedia Commons

CBRN weapon acquisition is a difficult task for terrorist organizations. Terrorists must acquire significant specialized equipment, materiel, expertise, and the organizational capabilities to support the acquisition of such weapons and a physical location to assemble them. Even supposed successes like Aum Shinrikyo’s attack on the Tokyo subway were not nearly as impactful as they could have been. Aum’s biological weapons program was also a notable failure. In one instance, a member of the cult fell into a vat of clostridium botulinum (the bacteria that produces the botulinum toxin) and emerged unharmed.2  As a result, only 1-2% of terrorist organizations pursue or use CBRN weapons.3  But these barriers are eroding.

3D printing may ease the acquisition of some equipment and materiel. 3D printers can be used to create equipment components at reduced cost and have been used to create bioreactors, microscopes, and others key elements.4  Bioprinters can also create tissue samples to test weapons agents.5  The digital build-files for 3D printed items can also be sent and received online, perhaps from black market sellers or individuals sympathetic to the terrorist’s ideology.6

Synthetic biology offers improved access to biological weapons agents, especially to otherwise highly controlled agents. Synthetic biology can be used to create new or modify existing organisms.7 According to the World Health Organization, synthetic biology techniques could plausibly allow recreation of the variola virus (smallpox).8  That is especially significant because the virus only exists in two highly secure laboratories.9

Delivery

Delivery of a CBRN agent can also be a challenge. CBRN agents useful for mass casualty attacks rely on the air to carry the agent to an adversary (nuclear weapons are an obvious exception, but the likelihood of a terrorist organization acquiring a nuclear weapon is extremely low). Poor wind conditions, physical barriers, rain, and other environmental conditions can inhibit delivery. Biological weapons also require spray systems that can create droplets of an appropriate size, so that the agent is light enough to float in the air, but heavy enough to enter the lungs (approximately 1-10 microns).

Drones also make CBRN agent delivery easier. Drones offer terrorists access to the air. Terrorists can use them to fly over physical barriers, such as fencing or walls to carry out an attack. Drones also give terrorists more control over where they launch an attack: they can choose a well-defended position or one proximate to an escape route. Although small drone payload sizes limit the amount of agent that can be delivered, terrorists can acquire multiple drones.

Advances in drone autonomy allow terrorists to control more drones at once.10  Autonomy also allows terrorists to launch more complex attacks, perhaps directing autonomous drones to multiple targets or follow a path through multiple, well-populated areas. Greater autonomy also reduces the risks to the terrorists, because they can flee more readily from the area.

3D printing can also help with CBRN agent delivery. Spray-tanks and nozzles subject to export controls can be 3D printed.11  3D printers can also be used to make drones.12  3D printers also provide customizability to adapt these systems for CBRN agent delivery.

Remaining Challenges

CBRN weapons acquisition also requires significant technical expertise. Terrorist organizations must correctly perform complex scientific procedures, know which procedures to use, know which equipment and materials are needed, and operate the equipment. They must do all of that without harming themselves or others (harming innocents may not seem like a concern for an organization intent on mass harm; however, it would risk exposure of the larger plot.) Much of this knowledge is tacit, meaning that it is based on experience and cannot be easily transferred to other individuals.

Emerging technologies do not drastically reduce this barrier, though experts disagree. For example, genome-synthesis requires significant tacit knowledge that terrorists cannot easily acquire without relevant experience.13  Likewise, 3D printers are unlikely to spit out a completely assembled piece of equipment. Rather, 3D printers may provide parts that need to be assembled into a final result. However, some experts argue that as technologies become more ubiquitous, they will be commercialized and made easier to use.14  While this technology is likely to become more accessible, physical limitations will place an upper bound on how accessible it can become.

The Future Operational Environment

If CBRN terrorism is becoming easier, U.S. forces can be expected to be at greater risk of CBRN attack and face more frequent attacks. An attack with infectious biological weapons from afar would not likely be discovered until well after the attack took place. Although still quite unlikely, a major biological attack could cause massive harm. Timed correctly, a CBRN terror attack could delay deployment of troops to a combat zone, inhibit launch of close-air support assets, or harm morale by delaying delivery of delicious pizza MREs.15  Off the battlefield, troops may have less access to protective gear and be at greater risk of harm. Even a poorly made agent can harm military operations: quarantines must still be established and operations limited until the risk is neutralized or at least determined to be non-harmful.

However, counter-intuitively, terrorist demand for CBRN weapons may actually decrease, because emerging technologies also offer easier pathways to mass casualties. These risks will be explored in the next article in this series.

If you enjoyed this post, please read:

The Democratization of Dual Use Technology

Dead Deer, and Mad Cows, and Humans (?) … Oh My! by proclaimed Mad Scientists LtCol Jennifer Snow and Dr. James Giordano, and returning guest blogger Joseph DeFranco

– Mad Scientist Bio Convergence and Soldier 2050 Conference blog post and Final Report

Emergent Threat Posed by Super-Empowered Individuals

Zachary Kallenborn is a freelance researcher and analyst, specializing in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) weapons, CBRN terrorism, drone swarms, and emerging technologies writ large. His research has appeared in the Nonproliferation Review, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Defense One, the Modern War Institute at West Point, and other outlets. His most recent study, Swarming Destruction: Drone Swarms and CBRN Weapons, examines the threats and opportunities of drone swarms for the full scope of CBRN weapons.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).


1 Walter A. Good, “The AMA History Project Presents Autobiography of Dr. Walter (Walt) A. Good,” Academy of Model Aeronautics, August 2009, https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/default/files/files/GoodDrWalterAWalt.pdf; Robert J. Bunker, “Terrorist and Insurgent Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Use, Potentials, and Military Implications,” United States Army War College Press, August 2015.

2 Richard Danzig et al., Aum Shinrikyo: Insights Into How Terrorists Develop Biological and Chemical Weapons, 2nd ed. (December 2012), https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.cnas.org/documents/CNAS_AumShinrikyo_SecondEdition_English.pdf (accessed 6 June 2017).

3 Gary Ackerman, Jonathan Wilkenfeld, R. Karl Rethemeyer, and Victor Asal, “Terrorist Groups and Weapons of Mass Destruction,” National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, (START), https://www.start.umd.edu/research-projects/terrorist-groups-and-weapons-mass-destruction

4 Clare Scott, “Experiment Tests the Suitability of 3D Printing Materials for Creating Lab Equipment,” 3DPrint.com, August 3, 2018, https://3dprint.com/221403/3d-printing-materials-lab/

5 Kolja Brockmann, “Advances in 3D Printing Technology: Increasing Biological Weapons Proliferation Risks?” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), July 29, 2019, https://www.sipri.org/commentary/blog/2019/advances-3d-printing-technology-increasing-biological-weapon-proliferation-risks

Franklin Houser, “3D Printed Drone Parts – All You Need to Know in 2019,” All3DP, February 12, 2019, https://all3dp.com/3d-print-drone-parts/

6 Natasha Bajema, “3D Printing: Enabler of Mass Destruction,” Medium, October 20, 2018, https://medium.com/@natashabajema/3d-printing-enabler-of-mass-destruction-74d2a684a13

7 Committee on Strategies for Identifying and Addressing Potential Biodefense Vulnerabilities Posed by Synthetic Biology, “Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology,” (Washington DC: The National Academies Press, 2018), 9.

8 “The Independent Advisory Group on Public Health Implications of Synthetic Biology Technology Related to Smallpox,” World Health Organization, June 29-30, 2015, available at https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/smallpox/synthetic-biology-technology-smallpox/en/

9 Smallpox,” National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, available at www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/smallpox

10 Amy Hocraffer and Chang S. Nam, “A Meta-analysis of Human–System Interfaces in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Swarm Management,” Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 58 (2017), pp. 66–80, http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chang_Nam5/publication/303782432_A_meta-analysis_of_human-system_interfaces_in_unmanned_aerial_vehicle_UAV_swarm_management/links/5767f71f08ae1658e2f8b435.pdf

11 Kolja Brockmann, “Advances in 3D Printing Technology: Increasing Biological Weapons Proliferation Risks?” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), July 29, 2019, https://www.sipri.org/commentary/blog/2019/advances-3d-printing-technology-increasing-biological-weapon-proliferation-risks

12 Franklin Houser, “3D Printed Drone Parts – All You Need to Know in 2019,” All3DP, February 12, 2019, https://all3dp.com/3d-print-drone-parts/

13 Kathleen M. Vogel, “Framing Biosecurity: An Alternative to the Biotech Revolution Model?,” Science and Public Policy, Vol. 35 No. 1, 2008.

14 Jonathan B. Tucker, “Could Terrorists Exploit Synthetic Biology?” The New Atlantis, Spring 2011, https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/could-terrorists-exploit-synthetic-biology#_ftn8

15 Steve1989MREInfo, “2018 MRE Pepperoni Pizza MRE Review Meal Ready to Eat Ration Taste Testing,” YouTube, July 28, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_sY-nJ179U

173. “Tenth Man” – Challenging our Assumptions about the Operational Environment and Warfare (Part 1)

[Editor’s Note:  Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to publish our latest “Tenth Man” post.  This Devil’s Advocate or contrarian approach serves as a form of alternative analysis and is a check against group think and mirror imaging.  The Mad Scientist Laboratory offers it as a platform for the contrarians in our network to share their alternative perspectives and analyses regarding the Operational Environment.  Starting today, we begin our new series of “Tenth Man” posts examining the foundational assumptions of The Operational Environment and the Changing Character of Future Warfare, challenging them, reviewing the associated implications, and identifying potential signals and/or indicators of change. Enjoy!]

Assumption:

Our Vision of Future War Centers on the 2+3 Threat.  This threat consists of two near-peer competitors — Russia as our current pacing threat and China emerging as our pacing threat sometime prior to 2035 — plus three additional potential adversaries — North Korea and Iran as regional threats and Radical Ideologues and Transnational Criminal Organizations.

Implications:

TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1 The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028 lays out the U.S. Army’s operational concept for prevailing in Competition and winning decisively in Conflict against these near-peer competitors. The Army Futures Command (AFC) was established by GEN Mark A. Milley, former Chief of Staff of the Army and now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to modernize the Army; specifically, to field an MDO-Capable Force by 2028 and set the conditions for fielding an MDO-Ready Force in 2035.  AFC’s Cross Functional Teams (CFTs) are addressing the CSA’s six priority modernization efforts:  Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF); the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV); the Army Network, including Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (A-PNT); Future Vertical Lift (FVL); Air and Missile Defense (AMD); and Soldier Lethality, including the Synthetic Training Environment (STE).

 

These modernization priorities will likely yield a number of new weapon systems / enhanced capabilities, designed primarily to deter Russia and China in Competition and, when necessary, penetrate and dis-integrate their Anti-Access / Area Denial (A2/AD) systems to exploit the resultant freedom of maneuver and win decisively in armed Conflict, forcing a return to Competition on terms favorable to the U.S.

Source: ARL

This way ahead presupposes a constant, linear projection of current threat capabilities and that the future fight will necessarily involve Large Scale Combat Operations (LSCO) that are ever more hyperkinetic and lethal….

But what if the integrated military power of the U.S. and its network of alliances deters both Russia’s and China’s appetite for direct Conflict?  What if Competition with our near peers remains the new norm, continuing to percolate with episodic crises that never quite trigger the transition into armed Conflict?  We will have built an exquisite combat capability that deters Conflict with Russia and China, but may be unsuited to decisively winning conflicts with lesser powers and non-state actors threatening U.S. interests — who have been watching and learning from our past 18 years of experience in the asymmetric fight.

Not all future Competition and Conflict “nails” will require a high intensity “hammer” response.  A U.S. whole of Government approach will require investment in other capabilities (e.g., Department of Treasury and State and regional experts across Federal service), as well as Special Forces (to include Civil Affairs and PsyOps) and Cyber Operations force modernization.

Signals / Indicators of Change:

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deployed armored medical vehicles and personnel to Germany for the Combined Aid 2019 Joint Exercise with the Bundeswehr this Summer.

– China is driving a wedge between the U.S. and its traditional allies via Competition.  Joint German / Chinese military medical service live training exercises, facilitated this year in Germany and in China in October 2016, are focusing on non-kinetic humanitarian and medical response cooperation. Per the South China Morning Post, COL Yue Gang (PLA-Ret) stated, “The PLA in the future will need to go abroad to protect China’s overseas interests in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, and if there could be some basic mutual trust and understanding with NATO forces, the risk of potential conflict could be greatly mitigated.” Wang Yiwei, of Renmin University in China, said, “As the leader of the EU, Germany has said that Europe should take charge of its own security…. It is also a brand new world security situation now, as both China and Europe would want to hedge their risks in dealing with the U.S.

Example of China’s next generation of UAVs / Source: Flickr

– Continued Russian, Chinese, and Iranian support of regimes, proxy forces, and brushfire wars around the globe (reminiscent of the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact, and Cuba during the Cold War era), providing funding, advisors and training, materiel support, and military sales.  Examples include Russia’s on-going support of Syria’s Assad regime and Iran in challenging U.S. interests; China’s global sales of armed UAVs; and Iran’s support of Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.

– Provocations, up to and including kinetic strikes on U.S. high value but unmanned assets, by strategic competitors and regional hegemons may be met with non-kinetic responses (e.g., cyber and information operations), thus remaining in the Competition phase rather than escalating to armed Conflict.

These signals / indicators of change lead us to query:

– Can the MDO Force, optimized for LSCO, achieve U.S. interests across Competition and the full spectrum of armed Conflict?

– Will the MDO Force provide sufficient flexibility to our Combatant Commanders to operate in the Competition phase short of armed Conflict?

– What is the deterrent value of the MDO Force if our competitors can achieve their respective national interests in the Competition phase?

Mad Scientist Laboratory would like to hear your thoughts regarding this post on our web site (for our subscribers who are reading this blog post via email, please go to https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil and select the title of today’s post to access the post online), scroll down to the bottom of the blog post, past the “Leave a Reply” heading, enter your observations in the “Comment” text box, then select the “Post Comment” black button. Your post will be added to the discussion as soon as it has been approved — thank you for contributing your insights!

If you enjoyed this post, please see our previous “Tenth Man” blog posts:

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

172. Splinternets

[Editor’s Note: Mad Scientist Laboratory welcomes returning guest blogger and proclaimed Mad Scientist Mr. Howard R. Simkin with his submission to our Mad Scientist Crowdsourcing topic from earlier this summer on The Operational Environment: What Will Change and What Will Drive It – Today to 2035?  Mr. Simkin’s post addresses the military challenges posed by Splinternets.  Competition during Multi-Domain Operations is predicated on our Forces’ capability to conduct cyber and influence operations against and inside our strategic competitors’ networks.  In a world of splinternets, our flexibility to conduct and respond to non-kinetic engagements is challenged by this new reality in the operational environment. (Note:  Some of the embedded links in this post are best accessed using non-DoD networks.)]

Purpose.
This paper discusses the splintering of the Internet that is currently underway – the creation of what are commonly being called splinternets. Most versions of the future operational environment assume an Internet that is largely accessible to all. Recent trends point to a splintering effect as various nation states or multi-state entities seek to regulate access to or isolate their portion of the Internet.1, 2  This paper will briefly discuss the impacts of those tendencies and propose an operational response.

The Problem.
What are the impacts of a future operational environment in which the Internet has fractured into a number of mutually exclusive subsets, referred to as splinternets?

Background.
Splinternets threaten both access to data and the exponential growth of the Internet as a global commons. There are two main drivers fracturing the Internet. One is regulation and the other is isolationism. Rooted in politics, the Internet is being fractured by regulation and isolationism. Counterbalancing this fracturing is the Distributed Web (DWeb).

Regulation.
Regulation usually involves revenue or internal security. While admirable in intent, regulations cast a chill over the growth and health of the Internet.3  Even well-intentioned regulations become a burden which forces smaller operators to go out of business or to ignore the regulations. Depending on the country involved, activity which was perfectly legal can become illegal by bureaucratic fiat. This acts as a further impetus to drive users to alternative platforms. An example is the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on 25 May 2018. It includes a number of provisions which make it far more difficult to collect data. The GDPR covers not only entities based in the EU but also those who have users in the EU.4  U.S. companies such as Facebook have scrambled to comply so as to maintain access to the EU virtual space.5

Isolation.
China is the leader in efforts to isolate their portion of the internet from outside influence.6  To accomplish this, they have received help from their own tech giants as well as U.S. companies such as Google.7  The Chinese have made it very difficult for outside entities to penetrate the “Great Firewall” while maintaining the ability of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to conduct malign activities across the Internet.8  Recently, Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google opined that China would succeed in splitting the Internet in the not too distant future.9

Russia has also proposed a similar strategy, which they would extend to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The reason given is the “dominance of the US and a few EU states concerning Internet regulation” which Russia sees as a “serious danger” to its safety, RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK)10  quotes from minutes taken at a meeting of the Russian Security Council. Having its own root servers would make Russia independent of monitors like the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and protect the country in the event of “outages or deliberate interference.” “Putin sees [the] Internet as [a] CIA tool.”11

Distributed Web (DWeb).
The DWeb is “a peer-to-peer Internet that is free from firewalls, government regulation, and spying.” Admittedly, the DWeb is a difficult problem. However, both the University of Michigan and a private firm, Maidsafe claim to be close to a solution.12  Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and organizer of the first Decentralized Web Summit two years ago, recently advocated a “DWeb Camp.” Should a DWeb become a reality, many of the current efforts by governments to control or regulate the Internet would founder.

Operational Response.
Our operational response should involve Special Operations Forces (SOF), Space, and Cyber forces. The creation of splinternets places a premium on the ability to gain physical access to the splinternet’s internal networks. SOF is an ideal force to perform this operation because of their ability to work in politically sensitive and denied environments with or through indigenous populations. Once SOF gains physical access, Space would be the most logical means to send and receive data. Cyber forces would then perform operations within the splinternet.

Conclusion.
Most versions of the future operational environment assume an Internet that is largely accessible to all. Therefore, splinternets are an important ‘alternative future’ to consider. In conjunction with Space and Cyber forces, SOF can play a key role in the operational response to allow the Joint Force to continue to operate against splinternet capable adversaries.

If you enjoyed this post, please see:

– Mr. Simkin‘s previous Mad Scientist Laboratory posts:

Keeping the Edge, and

Sine Pari,

… as well as his winning Call for Ideas presentation The Future ODA (Operational Detachment Alpha) 2035-2050, delivered at the Mad Scientist Bio Convergence and Soldier 2050 Conference, co-hosted with SRI International on 8–9 March 2018 at their Menlo Park campus in California.

– LtCol Jennifer “JJ” Snow‘s blog post Alternet: What Happens When the Internet is No Longer Trusted?

– Dr. Mica Hall‘s blog post The Cryptoruble as a Stepping Stone to Digital Sovereignty

Howard R. Simkin is a Senior Concept Developer in the DCS, G-9 Capability Development & Integration Directorate, U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He has over 40 years of combined military, law enforcement, defense contractor, and government experience. He is a retired Special Forces officer with a wide variety of special operations experience. He is also a proclaimed Mad Scientist.

References:
Baker, Dr. Jessica. “What Does GDPR Mean For You?” Digital Guardian. July 11, 2018. https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-does-gdpr-mean-for-you (accessed September 14, 2018).

Hoffer, Eric. Reflections on the Human Condition. New York: Harper and Row, 1973.

L.S. “The Economist explains, “What is the splinternet”?” The Economist. November 22, 2016. https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2016/11/22/what-is-the-splinternet (accessed September 14, 2018).

Nash, Charlie. “The Google Tapes: Employees Applauded Company for Taking Bold Stance Against China.” Breitbart. September 13, 2018. https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/09/13/the-google-tape-employees-applauded-company-for-taking-bold-stance-against-china/ (accessed September 14, 2018).

Sanger, David E. The Perfect Weapon, War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age. New York: Crown (Kindle Edition), 2018.

Sterling, Bruce. “The China Splinternet Model is Winning.” Wired. July 2, 2016. https://www.wired.com/beyond-the-beyond/2016/07/china-splinternet-model-winning/ (accessed September 2018, 2018).

Tangermann, Victor. “With GDPR Decision, Zuckerberg Proves Yet Again He Has Learned Absolutely Nothing From the Cambridge Analytica Scandal.” Futurism. April 4, 2018. https://futurism.com/zuckerberg-gdpr-cambridge-analytica/ (accessed September 14, 2018).

Tanguay, Pierre, Sabrina Dubé-Morneau, and Gaëlle Engelberts. “Splinternets: How Online Balkanization is Creating a Headache for Digital Content Distribution.” CMF Trends. January 31, 2018. https://trends.cmf-fmc.ca/splinternets-how-online-balkanization-is-creating-a-headache-for-digital-content-distribution/ (accessed September 2018, 2018).

End Notes:

1 Tanguay, Pierre, Sabrina Dubé-Morneau, and Gaëlle Engelberts. “Splinternets: How Online Balkanization is Creating a Headache for Digital Content Distribution.” CMF Trends. January 31, 2018. https://trends.cmf-fmc.ca/splinternets-how-online-balkanization-is-creating-a-headache-for-digital-content-distribution/ (accessed September 2018, 2018).

2 L.S. “The Economist explains, “What is the splinternet”?” The Economist. November 22, 2016. https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2016/11/22/what-is-the-splinternet (accessed September 14, 2018).

3 Duckett, Chris. “The race to ruin the internet is upon us”. ZDNet. 23 September 2018. https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-race-to-ruin-the-internet-is-upon-us/ (accessed November 13, 2018).

4 Baker, Dr. Jessica. “What Does GDPR Mean For You?” Digital Guardian. July 11, 2018. https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-does-gdpr-mean-for-you (accessed September 14, 2018).

5 Tangermann, Victor. “With GDPR Decision, Zuckerberg Proves Yet Again He Has Learned Absolutely Nothing From the Cambridge Analytica Scandal.” Futurism. April 4, 2018. https://futurism.com/zuckerberg-gdpr-cambridge-analytica/ (accessed September 14, 2018).

6 Sterling, Bruce. “The China Splinternet Model is Winning.” Wired. July 2, 2016. https://www.wired.com/beyond-the-beyond/2016/07/china-splinternet-model-winning/ (accessed September 2018, 2018).

7 Nash, Charlie. “The Google Tapes: Employees Applauded Company for Taking Bold Stance Against China.” Breitbart. September 13, 2018. https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/09/13/the-google-tape-employees-applauded-company-for-taking-bold-stance-against-china/ (accessed September 14, 2018).

8 Chan, Edward. “Quick Take: The Great Firewall.” Bloomberg News. November 5, 2018. https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/great-firewall-of-china (accessed November 13, 2018).

9 Kolodny, Lora. “Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two — and one part will be led by China.” CNBC. September 20, 2018. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/20/eric-schmidt-ex-google-ceo-predicts-internet-split-china.html (accessed November 13, 2018).

10 The RBK Group or RosBiznesKonsalting is a large Russian media group headquartered in Moscow.

11 “Russia Will Create Its Own Internet.” Cyber Security Intelligence Newsletter. January 26, 2018. https://www.cybersecurityintelligence.com/blog/russia-will-create-its-own-internet-3082.html (accessed November 13, 2018).

12 Perry, Tekla. “The Decentralized Internet of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”? Real-World Teams Say They’ve Already Invented It.” IEEE Spectrum. June 9, 2017. https://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/telecom/internet/hbo-silicon-valleys-decentralized-internet-realworld-teams-say-they-already-invented-it (accessed November 13, 2018).

Disclaimer: This is a USASOC G9 Gray Paper that has already been cleared for unlimited release. Distribution is unlimited.  The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

171. Jomini’s Revenge: Mass Strikes Back!

[Editor’s Note:  Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to publish today’s post by guest blogger and proclaimed Mad Scientist Zachery Tyson Brown, addressing how the advent of swarming networked weapon systems will facilitate the renaissance of the 19th Century strategist Baron Antoine-Henri de Jomini‘s concept of mass, enabling future battle commanders to disperse their combat assets for maneuver and then concentrate them for massed attacks at critical and decisive points.  Enjoy! (Note:  Some of the embedded links in this post are best accessed using non-DoD networks.)]

Quantity has a quality all its own.”

– attributed to Joseph Stalin

 

 

There’s a great scene in the otherwise unremarkable (Sorry, but it’s just #NotMyStarTrek) film Star Trek Beyond where—spoiler alert!—the USS Enterprise is annihilated by a swarm of thousands of tiny alien ships. As the swarm approaches, Captain Kirk orders defensive measures, while his stoic science officer Spock warns, “Captain, we are not equipped for this manner of engagement.

Swarming concepts draw heavily from other fields such as biomechanics and complexity science to recreate the emergent cooperation that flocks of birds and insect swarms exhibit naturally / Source: Wikimedia Commons

Spock’s analysis is right, as usual. The Enterprise’s advanced phaser weapons and photon torpedoes prove useless against the swarm, and its energy shields—designed to deflect energy blasts, not kinetic projectiles—irrelevant. The swarm tears the Enterprise to pieces.

Science fiction, right?

Star Trek Beyond premiered in the summer of 2016, at the height of the U.S.-led campaign to destroy the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria. At the time, coalition forces were practically paralyzed by just the perception of a threat from ISIS’s fleet of do-it-yourself drones armed with grenades dropped like bombs or munitions rigged to explode on impact in kamikaze-style attacks. I say perception because while the number of casualties produced by these systems was relatively few, the angst they caused vulnerable coalition forces made them U.S. Central Command’s top priority.

Source:  USAF AFRL

Predicting the future is fraught with risk, and lethal drone swarms may be a stretch—for the moment. One kamikaze drone, as I said, might not do that much damage. But what about thirteen, thirty, or three hundred? Make no mistake: the weaponized drone swarm is coming. So is the missile swarm, the robot swarm, and the submarine swarm.

You don’t have to be Nostradamus to foresee the marriage of swarming technology with the many loitering, semi-autonomous weapons systems that already exist. Parallel advances in diverse fields like semiconductor miniaturization, computer vision, energy storage, and highly energetic materials might combine to make systems like these the most powerful tactical weapons ever deployed.

Source:  DARPA

In the near future, enormous collectives of small, cheap weapons will clash on a grand scale, like medieval armies charging into one another. The actor who exploits these new weapons’ ability to outmaneuver and overwhelm their opponent’s combat formations will gain a tremendous advantage on an increasingly fast-paced and fluid battlefield by being able to effect sudden attacks on narrow fronts that will smash traditional formations.

The legal and moral implications of such capabilities are one concern that has already drawn the attention of ethicists. Here, I’m more interested in how these weapons conform to what we think we understand about warfare. We’ve entered a period of discontinuous change, when the rate of technological development exceeds that of institutions’ ability to adapt. In such periods, competitors experiment widely with emerging technologies because we don’t yet know their best uses.

The great powers, including the United States, China, and Russia, have different strategic cultures informed by unique histories concomitant with varied approaches to research & development, acquisition, and doctrine-writing. Lesser powers are also experimenting with networked weapons, however, and are in some ways advantaged. Today’s open research architecture has rapidly leveled the playing field and gives almost anyone—including ISIS—access to data, algorithms, and commercial systems that can be quickly militarized. These factors will work together to form an unpredictable battlefield over the next quarter-century.

Portrait of Jomini in 1859,
by Marc-Charles-Gabriel Gleyre

For all its novelty, the logic of the drone swarm reminds me of a tenet, until recently out of style, proposed by the doyen of modern war himself—Baron Antoine-Henri de Jomini. Jomini and his contemporaries—including rival Carl von Clausewitz—were infatuated with the scientism of the era and adorned their studies with the cutting-edge terms of the day—force, friction, gravity, and more. Jomini took it much farther, though, professing in his Art of War (published 1838), what he claimed were timeless principles of war—formulaic maxims that if followed, would provide a commander the greatest chance of success in battle.

The purpose of Jomini’s principle of mass was to concentrate units at the most advantageous time and place, which should prove decisive. In the Napoleonic Wars, this meant concentrating large numbers of soldiers to assail the weakest or most vulnerable portion of an enemy’s line with overwhelming force.

Jomini’s ideas held sway for a century or more, particularly in America. It was Jomini that American generals on both sides of the Civil War were taught at West Point. They were said to have marched off to war with “sword in one hand and their copy of Jomini in the other.”

Lancashire Fusiliers trench at Beaumont Hamel in 1916 / Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ironically, this period was also the apogee of Jomini’s influence, precisely because of its commanders’ adherence to the maxim of mass.  What they didn’t immediately grasp was how the acceleration of the industrial revolution had turned Jomini’s formula for victory into a recipe for wholesale slaughter. Taken to its logical extreme fifty years later during the First World War, massed assaults resulted in unprecedented carnage.

Afterward, armies began to experiment with dispersed formations who could more nimbly maneuver and seek cover and concealment from the mechanized fires of the industrial age. The Second World War and the Korean War certainly had mass engagements, but even in these the trend in combat was towards the application of combat power rather than mass per se, as the lethality of individual weapon systems disproportionately increased.

By the time the United States developed its ‘Second Offset’ strategy in the 1980s, precision and economy of force became the apex of military art. Militaries came to rely upon small numbers of exquisitely sophisticated and exorbitantly expensive capabilities that were also hard to replace—but this didn’t bother us too much at the time. Jomini’s mass—at least in terms of concentrating forces—was decidedly out of style.

The advent of drone swarming will mark its return, albeit in a different form. The near-instant synchronization of these networked weapons will allow them to disperse for maneuver and concentrate for attacks at critical locations—Jomini’s ‘decisive points’—which is itself reflective of another contemporary, Prussian General Gerhard von Scharnhorst’s maxim to ‘march divided, fight concentrated.’

Small units will be augmented with the ability to employ tens or hundreds of integrated weapons, providing them with far more relative combat power than in the past. They’ll be able to use these small, cheap, and individually expendable platforms to almost continuously gather real-time intelligence and choose the time and place to overwhelm an adversary’s defenses through sheer volume.

Source: USAF AFRL

These weapon swarms will require planners and operators to design new operating concepts that effectively employ their strengths and mitigate their own vulnerability to counterattack. Commanders will need to be able to conceptualize operations in multiple dimensions and embrace distribution and autonomy. Smaller units vulnerable to saturation attack will need to maintain and employ organic electronic warfare and air defense systems on a large scale, but these may prove limited thanks to the inherent resilience of a networked swarm.

Of course, prognostication is kind of like discerning the shape of a distant mountain shrouded in fog. While it’s impossible to know the path to the summit before we get there, and there will undoubtedly be obstacles and detours along the way, as we draw nearer, we can roughly guess its contours.

The future battlespace will be fluid and dynamic. It will be transformed by the application of novel technologies powered by unprecedented advances in artificial intelligence, automation, human-machine teaming, and robotics that adapt at speeds beyond human comprehension—a concept some have called hyperwar.

But age-old truisms endure; there is strength in numbers.

If you enjoyed this post, please read:

Ground Warfare in 2050: How It Might Look, and

The Democratization of Dual Use Technology

Zachery Tyson Brown is a strategic intelligence analyst and U.S. Army veteran who consults for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is a member of the Military Writers Guild and his writing has appeared at The Strategy Bridge, War on the Rocks, Defense One, and West Point’s Modern Warfare Institute. He can be found on Twitter @ZaknafienDC

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

170. “Own the Night”

[Editor’s Note:  The U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) and Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) co-sponsored the Mad Scientist Disruption and the Operational Environment Conference with the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin on 24-25 April 2019 in Austin, Texas.  Today’s post is excerpted from this conference’s Final Report (see link at the end of this post), addressing how the Army must embrace and rapidly incorporate autonomy, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into our force modernization efforts.  In the words of former Deputy Secretary of Defense Mr. Bob Work, this is an “Own the Night Moment for the United States Army” — enjoy!].

“When you’re bogged down in war it will naturally limit your ability to think about the future.”

In the late 1970s, following the end of the Vietnam War, U.S. operational planners started to ponder how to “Fight Outnumbered and Win.” Toward this end, the Army vowed to “Own the Night” – to leverage technology and training to successfully conduct offensive night operations with a level of familiarity and comfort commensurate with daytime operations. Further, nighttime defensive capabilities of other nations were 10 percent of what they would be during the day.1

Today, the Army is facing a similar “Own the Night” moment. To ensure future battlefield overmatch, the Army has a unique opportunity to seize the initiative in an openly competitive technological space — Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics — rather than succumb to forced modernization from a point of strategic disadvantage. There are four conditions underpinning this new “Own the Night” imperative:

1. The proliferation of miniaturized guided munitions and democratization of other military technologies will make the battlefield increasingly lethal for humans, hastening the development of unmanned autonomous systems to take on the most deadly combat tasks – dull, dirty, and dangerous.

2. Humans are becoming more expensive to recruit, train, and retain, hastening the move to unmanned and robotic systems to replace them, especially for ground forces.

3. Land warfare involves fighting amongst the people, requiring the most demanding performance for autonomous systems in terms of ethics, Law of Armed Conflict – distinction and proportionality –, and trust.

4. Future combat operations may occur in dense urban settings, where combat operations will rely heavily on human-machine combat teams. The pervasive presence of the Internet of Things (IoT) provides a bevy of information to both the robotic agents as well as their human counterparts.2

Gaps in the global competition for development of AI and robotics are quickly narrowing. Strategic competitors recognize the importance of AI, particularly to match and overtake the superior military capabilities that the United States and its allies have held for the past several decades. Highlighting this importance, Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017 stated that “whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”3   Russian military forces have already combat tested unmanned combat ground vehicles in Syria, applying lessons learned to future iterations of unmanned and autonomous combat systems.4  Within the past decade, China has invested heavily in government-funded AI initiatives. Military thinkers within the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) embrace AI’s prospects as “leapfrog technology” that would allow China to skip technological development stages and rapidly overmatch U.S. capabilities.5

U.S. success in this competition is dependent upon focus (R&D dollars and manpower concentration), adaptability (organizational flexibility and external partnerships), and innovation (creativity, integration, and cultural awareness). While the U.S. pursues its next iteration of “Owning the Night,” it will need a more defined strategy that focuses beyond developing and purchasing new generations of technology. Emerging technologies such as AI and robotics will require a continued investment by the Army and Department of Defense with clear strategic guidance for all stakeholders. As with the first “Own the Night” moment, the Army will also need to include development of new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and intense, sustained training.

The Army can gain multiple advantages by developing unmanned, optionally tele-operated systems rather than optionally manned systems, such as:

Leader Follower suite of robotic applique sensors and vehicle by-wire upgrades provide an unmanned capability to the Palletized Load System A1 Fleet of vehicles / Source: U.S. Army photo; https://asc.army.mil
      • Moving to the right side of the cost curve by avoiding investment in expensive armor and other human protection features.
      • Achieving greater performance – speed, agility, maneuverability – and energy efficiency without humans on board.
      • Creating greater warfighter effectiveness through increased man-machine teaming.

Robotic and unmanned systems are prevalent throughout the six Army modernization priorities – Long-Range Precision Fires; Next Generation Combat Vehicle; Soldier Lethality; Future Vertical Lift; Army Network; and Air and Missile Defense.6 Integration of unmanned robotic systems into all of these priorities is an opportunity for the Army to “Own the Night” and gain overmatch in Multi-Domain Operations (MDO).

If you enjoyed this post, please also see:

– The entire Mad Scientist Disruption and the Operational Environment Conference Final Report, dated 25 July 2019.

– Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Mr. Bob Work‘s presentation from the aforementioned conference on AI and Future Warfare: The Rise of the Robots (and Army Futures Command), as well as his Modern War Institute podcast assessing the future battlefield.

– Our Crowdsourcing the Future of the AI Battlefield #AIBattlefield information paper.

The Guy Behind the Guy: AI as the Indispensable Marshal, by Mr. Brady Moore and Mr. Chris Sauceda.

Autonomous Robotic Systems in the Russian Ground Forces, by Mr. Samuel Bendett.


1 Adam K. Raymond “‘We Own the Night’: The Rise And Fall Of The US Military’s Night-Vision Dominance,” Task & Purpose, https://taskandpurpose.com/night-rise-fall-us-militarys-night-vision-dominance

2 Work, Robert O., Mad Scientist Conference: Disruption and the Future Operational Environment, University of Texas at Austin, 24 April 2019.

3 James Vincent, “Putin Says the Nation that Leads in AI ‘Will be the Ruler of the World,’” The Verge, https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/4/16251226/russia-ai-putin-rule-the-world

4 Kendrick Foster, “The Modern Pen and the AI Sword,” Harvard Politics Review, https://harvardpolitics.com/united-states/pen-ai-sword/

5 Gregory C. Allen “Understanding China’s AI Strategy,” Center for a New American Security, https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/understanding-chinas-ai-strategy

6 “Modernization Priorities for the United States Army,” 3 Oct. 2017, https://admin.govexec.com/media/untitled.pdf

169. Climate Change as a Threat Multiplier: Part 1

[Editor’s Note:  In the first of a two part series exploring climate change as a threat multiplier, guest blogger LTCOL Nathan Pierpoint, Australian Army, examines the climate challenges facing civil and military leaders around the world.  Exploring the geo-political implications of rising sea levels, extreme heat, desertification, and water and food shortages, LTCOL Pierpoint’s post addresses how these environmental issues will exacerbate competition, social instability, and the potential for violence and conflict.]

There is one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.” — President Barack Obama

I was recently taken by the great piece written by Ms. Sage Miller on climate change.  I pushed hard to meet the Mad Scientist deadline for their recent crowdsourcing exercise on the Operational Environment – Today to 2035:  What Will Change and What Will Drive it, but came to the conclusion that this issue deserved more than 1000 words. Similarly, I felt it was such a pressing issue that it deserved regular, and continuous, discussion and debate. This is because climate change is one of the most significant drivers of global instability our militaries will face to 2035. This paper is part one of a two part discussion on climate change and the wars of the future.

I might have said in a recent tweet about the Mad Scientist Challenge that I would talk about climate change, violent extremism, and political warfare. However it became evident after a little more research that two of these issues quite often manifested from the adverse impacts of climate change. This is because climate change, to coin a term from the most recent  Global Peace Index report, acts as a threat multiplier.  While climate change doesn’t automatically lead to higher levels of violence, the Global Peace Index described it best as its ability to exacerbate security threats when they stated that “climate pressures adversely impact resource availability, affect population dynamics, and strain societal institutions, which directly affects security and stability.”1

It’s important to note the impact climate change is now having on national security decision making, particularly in the U.S.  On June 5, the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing on the National Security Implications of Climate Change. This hearing was unique in that it called witnesses Peter Kiemel from the National Intelligence Council, Rod Schoonover from the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and Jeffrey Ringhausen from the Office of Naval Intelligence. Chairman Schiff commenced the hearing by stating that climate change was the “greatest long-term national security threat to the U.S.2 and quoted the most recent Worldwide Threat Assessment published by the Director of National Intelligence by stating, “Global environmental and ecological degradation, as well as climate change, are likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent through 2019 and beyond.”  The key point Chairman Schiff tries to make here is that national stability needs to be underpinned by the protection and trade of national resources. A pessimist’s view would also suggest he indicates that adverse impacts to these resources directly increase the chance of conflict with others to protect or secure these resources.

GEN Angus J. Campbell, AO, DSC, Chief of the Defence Force / Source:  http://www.defence.gov.au/CDF/

I think it’s worth mentioning at this point the emerging threat of political warfare. This issue was best explained by Australian Defence Force (ADF) Chief, GEN Angus Campbell’s recent speech during ASPI’s War in 2025 conference.”4  His stark comments that “democracies risk being out-manoeuvred by totalitarian powers unrestrained by rules, and willing to use information campaigns, cyber operations, theft of intellectual property, coercion and propaganda to weaken them,” are an indication that large power competition has risen to the fore once more.5  However, the desire for totalitarian powers to conduct these types of activities are usually driven by a threat to their own existence. In many cases, it is access to the resources that western democracies and their economies have thrived upon and use to exert their own power over the international trading landscape. In this respect, I felt the impacts of climate change were a more pressing issue due to its ability to act as a threat multiplier. As the latest Global Peace Index suggests, environmental risks of climate change and resource scarcity had the highest likelihood of triggering or exacerbating conflict through its effects on livelihood security and resource availability.6  I’ll attempt to highlight the most significant climate challenges our world faces to 2035.

Jakarta / Source: pxhere

Indonesia is sinking. Since the 1970’s, parts of its capital city Jakarta have seen sea levels rise more than four meters. Scientists predict that more than a quarter of the city could be swamped by the sea by 2025.7   Jakarta is home to more than 34 million people, and one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Jakarta has also seen a rise in violent extremism, with Al-Qaeda and ISIS affiliated groups conducting a number bombings in recent years, killing hundreds.

Rising sea levels was also one example two recent King’s College Podcasts highlighted as they discussed the challenges of climate change on global security. A panel of experts also highlighted the growing concerns over air pollution, rising global temperatures, and environmental degradation as significant influences on security policies over the next century. Such examples they cited were periods of drought in Sub-Saharan Africa that sparked clashes over water, and water shortages in India that were intensifying conflicts between neighboring states.8

During training, U.S. Army Soldiers immerse their arms in a cooler of ice cold water for 15 seconds  to lower their core temperatures and prevent heat casualties / Source:  Army.mil, photo by Jeff Crawley

Rising global temperatures have also meant that deadly heat conditions, and heat related injuries, are now a regular occurrence for Soldiers. As recently as late July, there was further talk about the U.S. military recognising the threat climate change and rising temperatures were having on Soldiers across both operational and training areas. A recent report from the Pentagon highlighted that rising temperatures were exacerbating challenges the military is facing in some of the world’s most destabilized regions, and endangered individual troops and, by extension, U.S. security and preparedness. Further, the report stated that health impacts from heat have already cost the military as much as nearly $1 billion from 2008 to 2018.9  The reduced presence of Soldiers on a future battlefield, operating amongst the people, shaping and influencing the human terrain, would surely impact the decisiveness of future campaigns, and inadvertently prolong wars in the future.

As a result of rising temperatures, the world faces a significant drop in food production and increasing numbers of extreme weather events. Food production is quickly approaching the point where there are inadequate supplies to feed the global population. This is a consequence of a decline in crop yields, desertification, monsoon failure, chronic water shortages, and conditions too hot for human habitation in significant food-growing regions. As a result, significant portions of some of the world’s most populous cities — including Chennai, Mumbai, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Lagos, Bangkok and Manila, have been abandoned.10

Desertification and water shortages have meant that the livelihoods of more than five million farmers in Mexico were impacted by the drought from 2002 to 2012. The response was both internal migration to the slums of Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey and international migration to the United States.11   In the fastest growing megacity in the world according to the U.N, Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka has seen mass migration into the city’s slums. While slums have existed in Dhaka City for a long time, their growth accelerated after the liberation of the country in 1971, mainly due to mass migration by the rural poor. The first significant survey of the slums and squatter population in Dhaka was conducted by the Centre for Urban Studies (CUS) in 1974 and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees which indicated the slum population was 275,000.12   According to the latest census conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in 2015, 2.23 million people live in slums across the country.13  Eighty-one percent of migrants cited a climate-related cause as a main reason for their move, with most of those relocating to cities to earn their livelihood after losing their land and houses to river erosion.14  High levels of resource scarcity and strained public resources contributed to violence in these slums, with climate refugees intensifying already present social stress.15

UN refugee camp in Jordan / Source: Flickr

Bangladesh is not the only country facing mass migration due to the adverse effects of climate change. A recent New York Times article also highlighted the stark reality of population migration and displacement across the world. According to the article, the United Nations Refugee Agency stated that the global population of people displaced reached 70.8 million, up from 43 million a decade ago, 26 million fled across borders, and 3.5 million were seeking asylum in third countries.16   Evidence suggests that people living in less developed countries without the ability to mitigate these problems are those most likely to migrate, and that this migration has been a significant factor in increased violence in receiving areas.17

This is especially true in countries that are already low or declining in peacefulness. The drivers behind the Syrian civil war, according to some researchers, indicate that human-induced climate change was a contributing factor in the extreme drought experienced within Syria prior to its civil war. This drought lead to large scale migration, and this migration exacerbated the socio-economic stresses that underpinned Syria’s decent into war.18

NZ Defence Capability Plan 2019 / Source:  https://defence.govt.nz

Similar research has shown that climate change will impose significant stress on societies into the future. The recent New Zealand (NZ) Defence Capability Plan has a whole chapter dedicated to responding to the climate crisis in their region. In the plan they highlight that the “effects of climate change can be significant contributors to both low-level and more violent conflict.”19  Such is their concern, they have sought to increase the size of their Defence Force in order to contend with concurrent humanitarian assistance and stability operations in the region brought about through climate change.20

The influence of climate change has often taken a back seat to the threat of international terrorism and large power competition, but it is deeply intertwined with our security and stability. Violence and unrest brought about by terrorism and political warfare can weaken institutions, making society more vulnerable to climate shocks. This cycle suggests that political and socio-economic factors will continue to be the primary sources of internal strife and that climate change will continue to serve as a risk multiplier.21

I mentioned earlier that this is only Part 1 of this discussion. In this paper I sought only to highlight the growing security concerns exacerbated by climate change, not offer solutions. Part two of this discussion will employ story telling to imagine a future war influenced by the effects of climate change, resource competition, and unlikely adversaries.

If you enjoyed this post, please see:

Future Threats: Climate Change and Islamic Terror by Mr. Matthew Ader.

Climate Change Laid Bare: Why We Need To Act Now by Ms. Sage Miller, as well as her “The Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Military” Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) Speaker Session presentation

Our Arctic—The World’s Pink Flamingo and Black Swan Bird Sanctuary by Mr. Frank Prautzsch

LTCOL Nathan Pierpoint is a career Military Police Officer, having recently completed Battalion Command prior to his appointment as the Australian Army Liaison Officer to HQ TRADOC in 2019. He has also spent time as an instructor, served regularly as a staff officer in the Australian Army Headquarters, and has completed tours of Timor Leste, Iraq, and Afghanistan. LTCOL Pierpoint has a BA in Politics through the University of New South Wales, and a Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies through the Australian National University.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).


1 Institute for Economics & Peace. Global Peace Index 2019: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2019. http://visionofhumanity.org/reports (20 Jul 2019). p.49

2 Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia, Intelligence Officials Highlight Security Risks of Climate Change in Important House Hearing, The Centre for Climate and Security, 06 June 2019, https://climateandsecurity.org/2019/06/06/intelligence-officials-highlight-security-risks-of-climate-change-in-important-house-hearing/

3 Ibid

4 Brendan Nicholson, ADF Chief: West Faces a New Threat from ‘Political Warfare’, The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, 14 June 2019, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/adf-chief-west-faces-a-new-threat-from-political-warfare/

5 Ibid

6 Global Peace Index p.43

7 Mark Doman, David Lipson and Ari Wu, Jakarta is Running Out of Time to Stop Itself Sinking, ABC News Australia, June 23 2019, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-24/jakarta-is-running-out-of-time-to-stop-itself-sinking/11190928?pfmredir=sm

8 Ian Dunlop, David Spratt, Existential Climate Related Security Risk. Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration, Melbourne, May 2019, https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/148cb0_a1406e0143ac4c469196d3003bc1e687.pdf, p.9

9 David Hasemyer, Military Fights a Deadly Enemy: Heat, InsideClimate News, NBC News, 23 Jul 19 https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/military-s-climate-change-problem-blistering-heat-killing-soldiers-during-n1032546

10 Ibid.

11 Existential Climate Related Security Risk p.54

12 Professor Nazrul Islam, Dr. AQM Mahbub, Dr. Nurul Islam Nazem, Urban Slums of Bangladesh, The Daily Star Bangladesh, 20 June 2009, https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-93293

13 Staff Correspondent, The Number of slum dwellers in Bangladesh increases by 60.43 percent in 17 years https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2015/06/29/number-of-slum-dwellers-in-bangladesh-increases-by-60.43-percent-in-17-years, 29 Jun 2015

14 Ibid.

15 Existential Climate Related Security Risk p.54

16 Nick Cumming-Bruce, Number of People Fleeing Conflict Is Highest Since World War II, U.N. Says, June 19 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/19/world/refugees-record-un.html

17 Global Peace Index p.54

18 Jan Selby, Omar Dahi, Christiane Frolich, Mike Holme, Climate Change and the Syrian Civil War Revisited, Elsevier: Political Geography. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962629813000188

19 NZ Ministry of Defence, NZ Capability Plan 2019, Ministry of Defence June 2019, https://defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Defence-Capability-Plan-2019.pdf , p.17

20 Ibid

21 Global Peace Index p.49

Bibliography

1. Ms. Sage Miller, Climate Change Laid Bare: Why We Need to Act Now, US Army Mad Science Laboratory Blog Post, 8 Jul 19, https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/159-climate-change-laid-bare-why-we-need-to-act-now/

2. Jurgen Scheffran, Michael Brzoska, Hans Gunter Brauch, Peter Michael Link, Janpeter Schilling, Climate Change, Human Security and Violent Conflict: Challenges for Societal Stability, Springer, 2012.

3. Jan Selby, Omar Dahi, Christiane Frolich, Mike Holme, Climate Change and the Syrian Civil War Revisited, Elsevier: Political Geography, 2016, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962629813000188

4. NZ Ministry of Defence, NZ Capability Plan 2019, Ministry of Defence June 2019, https://defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Defence-Capability-Plan-2019.pdf

5. Institute for Economics & Peace. Global Peace Index 2019: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2019, http://visionofhumanity.org/reports, 20 Jul 2019.

6. Nick Cumming-Bruce, Number of People Fleeing Conflict Is Highest Since World War II, U.N. Says, June 19 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/19/world/refugees-record-un.html

7. Ian Dunlop, David Spratt, Existential Climate Related Security Risk. Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration, Melbourne, May 2019, https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/148cb0_a1406e0143ac4c469196d3003bc1e687.pdf

8. Mark Doman, David Lipson and Ari Wu, Jakarta is Running Out of Time to Stop Itself Sinking, ABC News Australia, June 23 2019, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-24/jakarta-is-running-out-of-time-to-stop-itself-sinking/11190928?pfmredir=sm

9. Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia, Intelligence Officials Highlight Security Risks of Climate Change in Important House Hearing, The Centre for Climate and Security, 06 June 2019, https://climateandsecurity.org/2019/06/06/intelligence-officials-highlight-security-risks-of-climate-change-in-important-house-hearing/

10. Global Challenges Foundation, Global Catastrophic Risk 2018: Global Challenges Annual Report 2018, https://api.globalchallenges.org/static/files/GCF-Annual-report-2018.pdf

11. King, D. et al., 2015. Climate Change–a Risk Assessment, Centre for Science and Policy, Cambridge University UK, June 2019, http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/media/uploads/files/1/climate-change–a-risk-assessment-v11.pdf

12. King’s College War Studies Podcast https://soundcloud.com/warstudies/event-pathways-to-climate-security-i and https://soundcloud.com/warstudies/is-nuclear-energy-the-answer-to-the-climate-crisis

13. Professor Nazrul IslamDr. AQM MahbubDr. Nurul Islam Nazem, Urban Slums of Bangladesh, The Daily Star Bangladesh, 20 June 2009, https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-93293

14. Staff Correspondent, The Number of Slum Dwellers in Bangladesh increases by 60.43 percent in 17 years, BD News Bangladesh 29 Jun 2015, https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2015/06/29/number-of-slum-dwellers-in-bangladesh-increases-by-60.43-percent-in-17-years

15. David Hasemyer, Military Fights a Deadly Enemy: Heat, Inside Climate News, NBC News, 23 Jul 19 https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/military-s-climate-change-problem-blistering-heat-killing-soldiers-during-n1032546

16. Brendan Nicholson, ADF Chief: West Faces a New Threat from ‘Political Warfare’, The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, 14 June 2019, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/adf-chief-west-faces-a-new-threat-from-political-warfare/

168. Linking Brains to Machines, and Use of Neurotechnology to the Cultural and Ethical Perspectives of the Current Global Stage

[Editor’s Note:  In today’s post, returning guest bloggers Mr. Joseph DeFranco and Dr. James Giordano examine the ramifications of Neuralink moving forward with Brain-Machine Interfaces, posing five tough questions on what the crossing of this neuroscience frontier means from medical, ethical, legal, and geo-political perspectives.  Read their compelling post — will “neuro-modified human actors be considered weaponized biological agents?”]

On July 16th, Elon Musk announced that his company Neuralink will move to advance clinical translation of a novel brain-machine interface (BMI) that he claims holds “…promise for the restoration of sensory and motor function and the treatment of neurological disorders.” 1  Although the company’s efforts to develop such a BMI has only been underway for 28 months,2  it has already created an innovative, functioning application in an in vivo rat model. Musk seeks to begin clinical trials in 2020 for treatment of particular neurological disorders. Musk also asserts that this technology could and should be available to any individual who wishes to achieve “better access” and “better connections” to “the world, each other, and ourselves.”3

The BMI involves implantation of microelectrodes (as many as 3,072 per array) to record neurological activity in the brain. These electrodes convey signals to sensors that can be detected by an external device (e.g., a smart phone).4  The intricacies and complex nature of the brain’s neural architecture and vasculature demand precision of the implantation procedure, and to this end Neuralink will employ a newly developed robotic system for inserting the electrodes. This system will be monitored and managed by a neurosurgeon who can manually adjust the robotic system as needed during the procedure.

Indubitably, this emerging technology is noteworthy and could foster understanding and treatments of a number of neuro-psychiatric conditions. Yet, there are several questions that we believe must be addressed and answered before Neuralink – or any related technology – is offered and made available to the public.

First, who will receive this BMI? Presentations by Musk assert that a main goal is to make the procedure “… as simple and automated as LASIK”.5  We also advocate the importance of, and need for safe and reliable procedures; in this light, it should be borne in mind that the methods described require neurosurgical intervention to insert the electrodes. And although the level of invasiveness may be reduced, and perhaps increasingly minimized with iterative developments of technology and protocols, inherent neurosurgical risks (e.g., intracranial bleeding; infection) must be recognized. It may well be that the relative benefit-to-burden / risk calculus may support the use of a novel procedure if and when other, extant, and prior interventions are ineffective. Still, we advocate that any such consideration should appreciate and engage questions and contingencies relative to mitigating risks (see Table 1). To wit, what conditions will be treated using this approach; or perhaps more specifically, which patients will receive such treatments?

Table 1: Preparatory Neuroethics Paradigms 6, 7


Second, who will perform this procedure and where will it take place? And, if Musk’s invitation to any individual who seeks “better access” and “better connections” to “the world, each other, and ourselves” is indicative of a broader interest in, and market for receiving this BMI technology, the question of “who will receive the interventions” becomes even more pressing. Given current attitudes (in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia) regarding medical interventions intended for “non-therapeutic” (i.e., optimization / enhancement) purposes,8 will surgeons in these countries be amenable to implanting the Neuralink BMI for such ends? If not, then we query where these procedures might be provided. Further, we ask how (and to what extent) these procedures will be funded.

Third, if, as Musk has stated this technology is to remain implanted and function for “years to decades” (and possibly a “lifetime”), will – and where will – ongoing research be performed to prospectively assess the benefit, burdens and/or harms incurred?9

Fourth, given this proposed durability, it is likely that:  (1) newer versions of the technology will be developed; and (2) older versions of the technology will require maintenance and updating. Therefore, we ask if and how issues and problems of obsolescence will be addressed and resolved?10  Will (and how will) device maintenance and upgrades be covered under some remunerative plan (e.g., insurance; corporate sponsorship)?

Fifth; as this technology becomes available to the public, will there be a time when the majority of a society has a BMI? If this were to occur, what about the minority who don’t? Or, if only a select few can acquire a BMI, how will society regard and treat these individuals? Here, scenarios such as that posed in Daniel Wilson’s novel, Amped, come to the fore.11  And what of the gap between the neuro-capabilized “haves” and those who “have not”? Such questions should not be limited to concerns about intranational distributive justice:  What does the use of this technology portend for the schism between developed, developing, and un-developed nations?

We applaud Neuralink’s strivings to develop cutting-edged therapeutics and respect their view toward neurological optimization. These developments prompt – if not mandate – recognition and acknowledgment of varying cultural needs, values, philosophies, and ethics, as each and all influence receptivity to this and other forms of BMI research and uses-in-practice.12 Some nations, based upon their views, ethos, and ethics, may be more willing, if not eager to provide this technology to their citizens, and possibly to Warfare, Intelligence, and National Security (WINS) personnel.13

At present, BMIs are not addressed by the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. However, if Neuralink-type BMIs, and other neurotechnologies14 are used to augment WINS operators, it begs the question of whether neuro-modified human actors should be considered “weaponized biological agents?”15  And if so, how should they be regarded and treated (both during their tenure in service, and afterward)?

To be sure, neurotechnology is rapidly advancing toward ever greater capabilities. Will global civic (and WINS) institutions remain apace?16  Given the distinctions in the socio-cultural and political values, aims, and ethics that shape research and its applications, what discourses and dialectic will be needed – or accepted – to guide, govern, and constrain acting with such haste, so as to avoid repenting in leisure? As we are fond of saying – and as every neurosurgeon knows well – it is wisest to “measure twice; cut once” whether opening a skull, a vista of new capabilities and possibilities, or a can of worms.

If you enjoyed this post, please also see:

China’s Brain Trust: Will the U.S. Have the Nerve to Compete? by Mr. Joseph DeFranco, CAPT (USN – Ret.) L. R. Bremseth , and Dr. James Giordano

Neuroscience and the Weapons of War podcast, with Dr. Giordano

Connected Warfare by COL James K. Greer (USA-Ret.)

Sine Pari by Mr. Howard R. Simkin

Author Biographies:
Joseph DeFranco is J5 Donovan Group Fellow in Biowarfare and Biosecurity, at U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). He is currently studying neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences, and biodefense at the Schar School of Policy and Government of George Mason University, VA, and formerly served on the staff of Congressman Donald S. Beyer (VA-08). His current research focuses upon the possible use of novel microbiological agents and big data as force-multiplying elements in non-kinetic, hybrid, and kinetic engagements, and the role of global agencies in biosecurity.

Mad Scientist James Giordano, PhD, is Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry, Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program, and Co-Director of the O’Neill-Pellegrino Program in Brain Science and Global Law and Policy at Georgetown University Medical Center. He currently serves as J5 Donovan Group Senior Fellow, Biowarfare and Biosecurity, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and as an appointed member of the Neuroethics, Legal, and Social Issues (NELSI) Advisory Panel of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Previously, Dr. Giordano served as Senior Science Advisory Fellow of the Strategic Multilayer Assessment Group of the Joint Staff of the Pentagon; and was Senior Research Fellow and Task Leader for the EU Human Brain Project Subproject on Dual Use Brain Science.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, U.S. Special Operations Command, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

Acknowledgments:  This blog was adapted from the authors’ forthcoming work appearing in the Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine. JG is supported by funding from CSCI and Leadership Initiatives.


References:
1 Musk E. An integrated brain-machine interface platform with thousands of channels. bioRxiv, 703801 (2019).

2 Winkler R. Elon Musk Launches Neuralink to Connect Brains with Computers. (2017, March 27). Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-launches-neuralink-to-connect-brains-with-computers-1490642652

3 CNET. (2019, July 17). Watch Elon Musk’s Neuralink presentation. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA77zsJ31nA; accessed 24. July, 2019.

4 Ibid. ref. 2.

5 Ibid. ref. 3.

6 Giordano J. Toward an operational neuroethical risk analysis and mitigation paradigm for emerging neuroscience and technology (neuroS/T). Exp Neurol 287 (4): 492-495 (2017).

7 Giordano J. A preparatory neuroethical approach to assessing developments in neurotechnology. AMA J Ethics 17(1): 56-61 (2015).

8 For overviews, see:
Jotterand F, Dubljevic V. (eds.) Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Berger TW, Glanzman DL. (eds.) Toward Replacement Parts for the Brain: Implantable Biomimetic Electronics as Neural Prostheses. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2005.

9 Giordano J. Conditions for consent to the use of neurotechnology: A preparatory neuroethical approach to risk assessment and reduction. AJOB-Neuroscience 6(4): 12-14 (2015).

10 Shook JR, Giordano J. Neuroethics beyond normal: Performance enablement and self-transformative technologies. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 25.1 (2016): 121-140 (2016).

11 Wilson DH. Amped. NY: Doubleday, 2012.

12 For more information, see:
Shook JR, Giordano J. A principled, cosmopolitan neuroethics: Considerations for international relevance. Phil Ethics Humanities in Med 9 (1); (2014).
Lanzilao E, Shook, J, Benedikter R, Giordano J. Advancing neuroscience on the 21st century world stage: The need for – and proposed structure of – an internationally relevant neuroethics. Ethics Biol Engineer Med 4(3): 211-229 (2013).

13 Palchik G, Chen C, Giordano J. Monkey business? Development, influence and ethics of potentially dual-use brain science on the world stage. Neuroethics, 10:1-4 (2017).

14 Giordano J, Wurzman, R. Neurotechnology as weapons in national intelligence and defense. Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics and Policy, 2, 138-151 (2011).

15 Liivoja R, Chircop, L. Are enhanced warfighters weapons, means, or methods of warfare? International Law Studies, 94(1), 7 (2018).

16 Shook JR, Giordano J. Moral bioenhancement for social welfare: Are civic institutions ready? Front Sociol 2(21): 1-5 (2017).

167. China’s Brain Trust: Will the U.S. Have the Nerve to Compete?

[Editor’s Note:  In today’s post, returning guest bloggers Mr. Joseph DeFranco, CAPT (USN – Ret.) L. R. Bremseth , and Dr. James Giordano examine how China is leveraging neuroscience and technology (neuroS/T) as a soft weapon to assume hegemonic advantage in their ascendancy to superpower status.  The stage is set — the U.S. and the West must decide if and how they will compete with China in the overall S/T arena!]

Brain trust (n): Group of official or unofficial advisers concerned especially with planning and strategy. — Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Significant developments in neuroscience and technology (neuroS/T) are employable in warfare, intelligence, and national security (WINS) operations.1  As has been shown, these tools and methods are certainly viable for use in kinetic warfare;2  however, we believe that it is far more feasible, facile – and therefore of greater value – to consider and pursue the brain sciences for producing “mass disruption” effects in non-kinetic engagements.3  Weaponry (i.e., means of contending against others) can be generally categorized as “Hard” and “Soft.” “Hard” weaponized applications of neuroS/T include pharmacological agents, microbes, organic toxins, and devices (i.e., “drugs, bugs, toxins, and tech”). Research, development, and use of these weapons are regulated by current international conventions and treaties, at least to some extent;4  and the scope and limitations of these treaties remain a focus of international discussion, contention, and debate. But it is equally important to acknowledge the capability that can be leveraged by employing forms of neuroS/T as “soft” weapons, to influence multinational, if not global economic, social, and political stability as well as balances of power.

Moreover, with the growth of non-western countries’ (e.g., China’s) interests, investments, and activities in neuroS/T, it is important to note that differing cultural (and political) needs, values, philosophies, norms, and mores can and often do affect the ethical codes that guide and govern the conduct of scientific research. In some cases, these differing ethical standards may create opportunistic windows to expedite neuroS/T research, and advance outcomes and products to ultimately effect global markets. China has recognized the technical, social, medical, military, and political value of neuroS/T, prompting the fortification of current programs, and initiation of new programs in brain sciences that are aimed at broad translational use(s).5  Toward such ends, China has both stated intent and capability to use precision disruptive methods to target competitors’ vulnerabilities to incur multi-dimensional ripple effects to influence various spheres of economic, social and geo-political power.6

China’s triple helix — cooperative engagement between government, academia, and commercial sectors

As we have stated in a previous blog and elsewhere,7  China operates (1) on longer, more protracted timetables (i.e., Five-Year Plans [FYPs]), and (2) with adept synergy via cooperative engagement of government, academia, and commercial sectors (i.e., the “triple helix”) that allows for the centralization and coordination of resources and personnel on agenda, and projects of prime national interest. These aspects of their regime enable coordination and productivity of politically motivated intent, research, and outcomes for a range of applications (including WINS operations).8  In essence, China has established a reciprocally supportive brain trust focusing upon advancing enterprises in brain science. We have identified three ways that China looks to non-kinetically leverage neuroS/T as a soft weapon on the world stage:  (1) research tourism; (2) control of intellectual property; and (3) medical tourism. In these ways, China seeks to advance neuroS/T, as constituent to broader S/T, and economic initiatives to assume a hegemonic advantage and become a (if not the) global superpower.

Research Tourism

Research tourism is a strategy to attract both distinguished, experienced scientists (in most cases from Western countries) and younger scientists to contribute to and advance productivity, innovation, and prestige of China’s S/T (and other academic) enterprises. These efforts are evidenced in initiatives such as the Thousand Talents Program (launched in 2008) and other programs (e.g., Hundred Person Program, Spring Light Program, Youth Thousand Talents Program, etc.) that aim draw foreign researchers, incubate domestic talent, and incentivize the return and retention of Chinese scientists who have studied and/or worked abroad.9, 10  Such programs are supported and enthused by broad intramural cooperation of leading neurobiological research universities, and initiatives to formally (and financially) conjoin Chinese institutes to leading programs worldwide. For example, the IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Tsinghua University in Beijing works closely with Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s brain research institute.11  Additionally, in 2019, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology joined with Harvard Medical School, Stanford University School of Medicine, and University College London to engage in cooperative and collective neurodegenerative research and intend to open an institute in Hong Kong.12  These partnerships foster international collaboration to further therapeutics and other neuroS/T advances; however, it also augments China’s ability to even the proverbial “playing field” of the brain sciences for WINS applications.

China is evening the neuroS/T playing field through multi-lateral collaborative partnerships with western centers of brain science excellence

Intellectual Property Control

China has also leveraged intellectual property (IP) policy and law to advance (and veil) neuroS/T and other biotechnologies through: (1) exploiting their own patent process; (2) enabling compulsory licensing under their IP and patent laws; and (3) internationally enforcing their patent and IP rights.  China’s system creates a “patent thicket” which, unlike the United States, emphasizes the end-utility of a concept rather than innovation in ideas. This in turn produces an abundance of patents, which are based on parts of other concepts or previous, completed patents. These IP laws allow China’s commercial entities to copy, or in some case, usurp foreign patent information, applications, and products. Furthermore, Chinese patent laws allow for complete seizure of international research and development (R&D) under certain conditions, which often remain vague (e.g., “for the benefit of public health”, “a major technological advancement”, etc.).13  A 2017 report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property stated that China accounts for 87% of counterfeit goods stolen from United States companies.14  Taken together, such practices allow the Chinese government to acquire S/T for any political, economic, or WINS application.

The recent global expansion of China’s commercial, academic, and economic institutions has established significant stakes in myriad international enterprises that are capable of realizing rapid and broad advances in China’s S/T R&D. Such use of law (i.e., what is referred to as “lawfare”) empowers Chinese academic and corporate endeavors via economic and legal support provided by the PRC to align S/T R&D with explicit national directives and agendas to exercise international effect and dominance.15, 16 This can create market saturation of key products that are essential to multiple functions and domains of other countries’ infrastructure, economy, stability, and standing. As well, such products can be used for intelligence purposes to track particular domains and activities of individuals, groups, and communities. The proliferate infiltration of such products also establishes dependence upon China’s supply and maintenance of resources and renders these technologies (and the activities they serve) vulnerable to manipulation and control.

Medical Tourism

Neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero — proposing the first body to head transplant with Harbin Medical University / Source:  Flickr; https://www.flickr.com/photos/140796687@N03/26944038890

The capacity to advance and/or develop areas of biomedicine / biotechnology in ways that are not feasible elsewhere synergizes both a strong translational (“bench to bedside”) capability, and explicit as well as tacit attraction and solicitation of international individuals seeking interventions that are only available in China. These, at present, could range from the relatively sublime (e.g., using deep brain stimulation to treat drug addiction17) to the seemingly science fictional (e.g., the proposed body to head transplant to be conducted at Harbin Medical University in collaboration with Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero18). Such enterprise may be fortified by research efforts that seek to expedite development of treatments for diseases for high global import and effect. More provocatively, research could also be directed toward producing agents that incur global effect, which could only be ameliorated through the use of specific interventions that are “made in China.”19  Initiatives to foster medical tourism are synergized by programs to promulgate China’s S/T in world markets, thereby strengthening multinational dependence on Chinese market influence. This enables reliance on products and services “made/delivered in China” in addition for those “made by China” for ubiquitous use elsewhere.20

Prompting the Questions…

Due to these tactics of economic infiltration and saturation, China can create power hierarchies that induce ‘bio-political’ strategically latent effects that influence real and perceived positional dominance and affect world order. Hence, the United States and its allies must:

(1) Recognize the reality – and gain insight to processes/mechanisms – of China’s ascendant S/T capability;

(2) Evaluate what current and near-term trends in S/T portend for global position, influence, and power; and

(3) Decide which option – and paths-to-effect – to accept and assume.

In sum, it prompts the questions:

– Should the U.S. and its allies be content to let China continue to rise in S/T capability, and become a co-superpower, thereby rivaling if not surpassing the global influence of the U.S. and the West?

Or…

– Should China’s current and planned activities in S/T prompt the U.S. and its allies to adopt renewed, new – or perhaps China’s own – strategies to increase investment, innovation, and enterprise to maintain sole superpower status?

If you enjoyed this post, please also see:

BrAIn Gain > BrAIn Drain: Strategic Competition for Intellect

Designer Genes: Made in China? by Mr. Joseph DeFranco and Dr. James Giordano

The Importance of Integrative Science/Technology Intelligence (InS/TINT) to the Prediction of Future Vistas of Emerging Threats by Dr. James GiordanoCAPT (USN – Ret.) L. R. Bremseth, and Joseph DeFranco

China’s Drive for Innovation Dominance

Authors:

Joseph DeFranco is J5 Donovan Group Fellow in Biowarfare and Biosecurity, at U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). He is currently studying neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences, and biodefense at the Schar School of Policy and Government of George Mason University, VA, and formerly served on the staff of Congressman Donald S. Beyer (VA-08). His current research focuses upon the possible use of novel microbiological agents and big data as force-multiplying elements in non-kinetic, hybrid, and kinetic engagements, and the role of global agencies in biosecurity.

L.R. Bremseth (CAPT, USN SEAL [Ret]) serves as the Senior Special Operations Advisor for CSCI, a strategic support organization in Springfield, VA. He previously served as the Deputy Senior Director of the Integration Support Directorate (ISD) for the Department of the Navy (DON). As such, he was a key advisor to the Secretary, Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for sensitive activities. CAPT Bremseth was appointed to the Defense Intelligence Senior Level, and Director, Operations and Executive Director prior to his appointment as Deputy Senior Director, ISD. He retired from the Navy in 2006 with 29 years of service, during which he commanded SEAL Team EIGHT (1996-1998) and served a major command tour at Naval Special Warfare Group THREE (2003-2005).

 Mad Scientist James Giordano, PhD, is Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry, Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program, and Co-Director of the O’Neill-Pellegrino Program in Brain Science and Global Law and Policy at Georgetown University Medical Center. He currently serves as J5 Donovan Group Senior Fellow, Biowarfare and Biosecurity, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and as an appointed member of the Neuroethics, Legal, and Social Issues (NELSI) Advisory Panel of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Previously, Dr. Giordano served as Senior Science Advisory Fellow of the Strategic Multilayer Assessment Group of the Joint Staff of the Pentagon; and was Senior Research Fellow and Task Leader for the EU Human Brain Project Subproject on Dual Use Brain Science.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, U.S. Special Operations Command, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

Acknowledgments:
This blog was adapted from the authors’ forthcoming work appearing in the Health Security journal, Strategic Studies Quarterly, and the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. JG’s work is supported in part by funding from CSCI and Leadership Initiatives.

References:


1 For additional resources, please see:

Moreno J.D. (2006). Mind wars: Brain research and national defense.

Flower, R., Dando, M., Hay, A., Iverson, S., Robbins, T., Robinson, J. P., Rose, S., Stirling, A., Tracey, I., & Wessely, S. (2012). Brain Waves Module 3: Neuroscience, conflict and security.

Giordano J, Forsythe C, Olds J. Neuroscience, neurotechnology and national security: The need for preparedness and an ethics of responsible action. AJOB-Neuroscience 1(2): 1-3 (2010).

Forsythe C, Giordano J. On the need for neurotechnology in the national intelligence and defense agenda: Scope and trajectory. Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics and Policy 2(1): T5-8 (2011).

2 Giordano J. (ed.) Neurotechnology in National Security and Defense: Practical Considerations Neuroethical Concerns. Boca Raton: CRC Press (2015).

3 DeFranco J, DiEuliis D, Bremseth LR, Snow JJ, Giordano J (2019). Emerging Technologies for Disruptive Effects in Non-Kinetic Engagements. Journal of the Homeland Defense & Security Information Analysis Center, 6(2).

4 Gerstein, D., & Giordano, J. (2017). Rethinking the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention?. Health security15(6), 638-641.

5 DeFranco J, Bremseth LR, Giordano J. The Importance of Integrative Science/Technology Intelligence (InS/TINT) to the Prediction of Future Vistas of Emerging Threats. Mad Scientist Laboratory Post #125, 13. March 2019. Available online at: https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/125-the-importance-of-integrative-science-technology-intelligence-ins-tint-to-the-prediction-of-future-vistas-of-emerging-threats/

6 For example, please see: Bremseth L.R. & Giordano, J. (2019, July 4). The undeclared war America is losing. Retrieved from https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jul/4/why-fentanyl-must-be-designated-a-weapon-of-mass-d/

7 Chen C, Andriola J, Giordano J. (2018). Biotechnology, commercial veiling and implications for strategic latency: The exemplar of neuroscience and neurotechnology research and development in China. In: Davis ZD, Nacht M. (eds.) Strategic Latency Red, White and Blue: Managing the National and International Security Consequences of Disruptive Technologies. Livermore, CA: Lawrence Livermore Press, pp. 12-32.

8 DeFranco, J, Bremseth LR, Giordano J (2019). Dual- and Non-kinetic Use of Chinese Brain Science: Current Activities and Future Implications. In: Peterson N (ed.) The Future of Global Competition and Conflict. A Strategic Multi-Layer (SMA) Periodic Publication. Washington, DC: Strategic Multilayer Assessment Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

9 Engel, R. & Werner, K. (2019, July 14). China’s rising tech scene threatens U.S. brain drain as ‘sea turtles’ return home. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/china-s-rising-tech-scene-threatens-u-s-brain-drain-n1029256

10 Ibid, ref. 7.

11 For information on the IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Tsinghua University, please see: http://mcgovern.med.tsinghua.edu.cn/

12 Yan. (2019, January 16). HK to set up neuroscience research center with world’s top universities to tackle aging population. Retrieved from http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/16/c_137749495.htm

13 Ibid, ref. 7.

14 For the complete 2017 update of the IP Commission report on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, please see: http://ipcommission.org/report/IP_Commission_Report_Update_2017.pdf

15 Ibid, ref. 8.

16 McFate S. (2019). The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder. NY: Harper-Collins.

17 ABC News. (2019, May 8). China conducting world-first trial of brain implants to treat drug addiction. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-08/china-trials-brain-implants-to-treat-drug-addiction/11090936

18 Jacobson, R. (2018, May 15). Two surgeons in China developing a method to transplant a human head. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/15/two-surgeons-in-china-developing-a-method-to-transplant-a-human-head.html

19 DeFranco J, Snow JJ, Giordano J. Dead Deer, and Mad Cows, and Humans (?) … Oh My! U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Mad Scientist Laboratory Post #143, 13. May 2019. Available online at: https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/143-dead-deer-and-mad-cows-and-humans-oh-my/

20 For the United States Chamber of Commerce report on Made in China 2025, please see: https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/final_made_in_china_2025_report_full.pdf