Combating Health-Related Cyber Security Threats with Health Systems Approaches

By |2021-07-12T11:01:53-10:00July 12th, 2021|

By Drs. Sebastian Kevany and Deon Canyon* Cyber Attacks on Health Systems A clear overlap between cyber security and public health realms was made evident during the cyber attacks on Ireland’s health system in May 2021.  Through an encryption process, hackers were able to disable the functionality of the Irish health system, putting lives at risk through the postponement of operations and other essential services. The challenge faced by the Irish government, and the public health system, was to weigh the trade-offs between paying ransom to the hacking group versus risking the release of protected public health information.  At the [...]

Senior Leaders Wargame Insights into the U.S. – North Korea Nuclear Standoff

By |2021-06-22T15:15:13-10:00June 22nd, 2021|

By Deon Canyon,1  Jonathan Cham,2  Jim Potenza3 Introduction On July 28, 2017, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that experts asserted could threaten the mainland United States (Sanger, et al., 2017). This event triggered major shifts in US-DPRK relations. Within an eleven-month period, the two parties moved from threatening kinetic strikes on the other to participating in an unprecedented meeting between the two heads of state. In retrospect, it is easy to place these events within the broader context of US-DPRK relations. However, for decision-makers facing down that pivotal moment, the future seemed [...]

China’s Manipulative Use of Climate Change

By |2021-05-20T12:22:11-10:00May 18th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon * In 2014, following a climate deal between the United States and China, President Obama announced his aim to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and President Xi Jinping of China reiterated the Paris Agreement commitment by saying that Chinese carbon dioxide emissions would peak by 2030 or earlier. China’s stance was that the impacts of climate change “pose a huge challenge to the survival and development of the human race” and that China is “one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change.” By 2016 the results were [...]

Goldilocks Power and the Reform of Irregular Warfare in a Changing World

By |2021-05-13T15:02:59-10:00May 14th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon * The Irregular Warfare (IW) Annex to the 2020 National Defense Strategy defines irregular warfare as “a struggle among state and non-state actors to influence populations and affect legitimacy.” Irregular warfare is called Hybrid Warfare by NATO, New Generation Warfare by Russia, and Unrestricted Warfare by China. All of these terms place an emphasis on influencing populations, primarily using non-military means below the level of conventional war. Although irregular warfare encompasses a range of activities traditionally dominated by special operations forces, such as counter-terrorism, unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, foreign internal defense and stability operations, this revised definition broadens [...]

Rebalance U.S. Coast Guard Cutters to Help Advance a ‘Free and Open’ Indo-Pacific

By |2021-05-17T15:35:47-10:00May 13th, 2021|

By Lt. Cmdr. Mike Moyseowicz, U.S. Coast Guard* Keywords: Maritime law enforcement, homeport, Oceania, IUU fishing, maritime domain awareness “We are recommitting to a shared vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, resilient, and inclusive.”[1] U.S. President Joe Biden and the leaders of the Quad nations, March 13, 2021. For the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to best contribute toward a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, it needs to shift major cutter resources to the Pacific to meet the mission demands of the future. Currently, the USCG homeports only 33% of its major cutters in the Pacific, with the [...]

India Leading International HADR Cooperation in South Asia

By |2021-05-12T15:28:30-10:00May 10th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon* Introduction There are some simple reasons why there are few multinational and regional disaster response agencies. First, most developed nations do not ask for assistance when disasters and crises strike because they have sufficient capacity to manage the response. Second, some nations are at odds with their neighbors. And third, some nations do not have the resources to assist others. Historically, crisis-prone nations with inadequate resources for immediate relief request assistance from well-developed affluent nations with capable militaries. These providers have typically been Western countries, but that is beginning to change. The most well-known exception is the [...]

SARS-CoV-2 Mutations, Variants, and National Security

By |2021-05-07T08:34:56-10:00May 8th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon, Sebastian Kevany and Michael S. Baker * Mutations are caused by random, spontaneous errors in the RNA-based genetic code of viruses that occur as the virus replicates within a host. The process of continually emerging, small mutations is called antigenic drift. In influenza and Covid, these mutations are often noticeable by observing changes in viral surface proteins, otherwise known as antigens. The human immune system identifies and reacts to foreign antigens by producing antibodies that target the infection. Most vaccines work by presenting a harmless version of the foreign antigen to train the immune system to be [...]

An International Public Health and Virus Surveillance Network for National Security

By |2021-05-06T11:02:18-10:00May 6th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon, Sebastian Kevany and Michael S. Baker* Introduction The monitoring and surveillance of novel and variant, emergent and resurgent, infectious viral diseases is a core need for global health and national security. The United States has not, to date, put a priority on the funding and resourcing of private and public laboratories to identify and monitor Covid variants and mutations. While the U.K. sequences 10% of its positive cases, the U.S. currently only inspects around 0.3-1.5% of positive tests for the presence of viral mutations, which is lower than Gambia, Senegal and even Latvia. This created a “gaping [...]

The Joint Recovery of Fallen Soldiers from the Korean War: One way for American, Chinese, North and South Korean soldiers to cooperate and reconcile

By |2021-04-26T12:08:58-10:00April 26th, 2021|

By Dr. Sungmin Cho Introduction While the Biden Administration was reviewing its North Korea policy, Pyongyang once again raised tensions by firing two ballistic missiles on March 24, 2021.[1] Given North Korea’s triple whammy in 2020, — namely the pandemic-related health crisis, economic crisis, and natural disaster —, experts anticipate that the stress-ridden country is likely to continue military provocations. Therefore they urge the Biden administration to send an early signal to Pyongyang for talks and diplomacy.[2] In fact, the Biden administration has already reached out to North Korea, but Pyongyang has not responded.[3] A new approach is needed to break [...]

The Sino-Russian Approach to the Maritime: A Mare Clausem System?

By |2021-03-31T14:28:54-10:00March 31st, 2021|

By Dr. John Hemmings * The mention in the recently released Interim National Security Strategic Guidance of emerging technologies and non-traditional domains is to be welcomed, particularly the focus on cyberspace, space, and artificial intelligence (AI). In addition to increasing the US’ conventional deterrence capabilities, the increase in resources and focus give our forces the ability to push back and fight in the information domain, a space where Russia and China are increasing the tempo of their gray zone operations and influence campaigns. However, as the West increases its capacities in these non-traditional sectors, we must not forget the basic [...]

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