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Information Environment

Vol. 8 No. 1 | 2021 Edition
Miles Taylor

"Is the Internet Trying to Kill Us?"
And other Technology Security Unknowns

In the New Roaring Twenties

Written by Miles Taylor

Machines are poised to transform life as we know it...and America isn’t ready.  A hundred years ago, machines remade the world. Society in the 1920s was transformed by a proliferation of cars, radios, movies, and airplanes, dramatically altering the way we lived, worked, and played. We did not know it then, but the sweeping technology revolution was poised to change the way we fought, too. The 1930s saw a revolution in military affairs as warfare became deadlier and faster-paced, a foreseeable consequence of the previous decade’s innovations. This nevertheless caught many nations by surprise, such as those affected by the German blitzkrieg....


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Miles Taylor is a national security expert and former CNN contributor. A New York Times bestselling author, Taylor served as chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and later as the head of advanced technology and security strategy at Google. He is a Senior Fellow at the McCrary Center for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security.

Colleen McCue and Brandon Daigle

No one today questions whether data science can confer competitive advantage to organizations effectively adopting these capabilities. Considerable attention has been paid to technology, talent, and training as organizations attempt to build data science programs in an effort to convert aspiration to practice; moving from simply counting and reporting what happened to data-informed prediction and prescription. As understanding of the various and specific data science roles has evolved, talent development, management, and leadership are emerging as new frontiers. Organizations now work to create data science capacity where effective and responsible use of advanced analytics makes the whole truly more than a sum of the parts....

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Dr. Colleen McCue is a Principal Data Scientist with CACI International, where she supports special missions. She earned her doctorate in psychology from Dartmouth College, and completed a five-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Lt Col Brandon Daigle is an Air Force Officer currently serving as a National Defense Fellow to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.  He has held a variety of in-garrison and deployed leadership positions.  He most recently served as the Commander of a Joint Unit at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. He holds a M.S. in Defense Analysis/Special Operations and Irregular Warfare, Naval Postgraduate School, a M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Design from Amridge University and a B.S. in Religion from Southern Christian University.

Data Science Teams:
Evolution of the Full-Contact Sport

Written by Colleen McCue, Ph.D. and Lt Col Brandon Daigle
Rabia Altaf

Transforming Military Technology
Through Acquisition Policy

Written by Rabia Altaf

The Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) emphasized the need for continued technological modernization of the U.S. Armed Forces. This notion, first brought to light by the Obama administration, is underlined by the military’s inability to adapt and modernize at the pace necessary to restore the United States’ military dominance. At the root of this issue is the relationship between the Pentagon and the defense industry, which currently operates with an inadequate military technology acquisition process. Acquisition allows the Department of Defense (DoD) to communicate its strategic vision and shape the military to meet current and future threats. As it stands, this deficient process results in the mis-regulation of the defense industry. Improving the acquisition process by clearing hurdles, creating policy with innovation in mind, and carefully crafting regulation is critical for the United States to regain its competitive military advantage to tackle the global security issues of the coming decades....

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Rabia Altaf is a program manager with Raytheon Technologies. She is a 2016 graduate of The Fletcher School, having focused on business and human security. Before matriculating at Fletcher, Altaf was an intelligence analyst for the Department of the Army, conducting all-source, socio-cultural, and political analysis.

She served several customers within the Army including Training and Doctrine Command, 10th Mountain Division, and the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan. She has over a decade in experience and completed two deployments to Afghanistan in support of the U.S. Armed Forces. She is based in Tucson, Arizona.

Dawn Zoldi

Bringing Down the Hammer
On Chinese Tech

Written by Dawn M.K. Zoldi

Law is what you must do; policy is what you should do. With regard to country-of-origin bans on technology, either one has the effect of the proverbial hammer. Of late, the U.S. government has been wielding that hammer consistently against China in what amounts to an all-out tech war. The most visible fronts have involved Huawei, ByteDance (TikTok), and TenCent (WeChat). However, a lesser-known conflict relating to the commercial drone sector involves Da Jiang Innovations (DJI), a Chinese technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It is a three-pronged assault based on cybersecurity, national security, and human rights concerns. Will the U.S. commercial drone ecosystem get hammered in this conflict?....

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Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, United States Air Force, Retired) is an Adjunct Professor at the Colorado State University-Pueblo, Chief Executive Officer/Founder of P3 Tech Consulting LLC, a licensed attorney, and 25-year Air Force veteran and 3-year federal civil servant. She is an internationally recognized expert on unmanned aircraft system law and policy, recipient of the Woman to Watch in UAS (Leadership) Award 2019, and a columnist for both Inside Unmanned Systems and Inside GNSS magazines.

Russia has tested a wide variety of new weapon systems in an effort to modernize and upgrade its nuclear forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been shy about publicly discussing these new weapon systems or the capabilities of several of them, though a few are not currently feasible for any sort of deployment. More of a threat, however, are the two weapons that Putin did not boast about: the SSC-8 and SSC-X-31, both of which were almost certainly in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. While these missiles represent a threat in and of themselves, a far greater threat is the indication that Russia does not feel bound by international agreements. These missiles have already had their first successful casualty in the death of the INF Treaty, and they may have also dealt a mortal blow to the New START Treaty.....

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Major Christopher Mihal, PMP, is a U.S. Army Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction officer. He is currently assigned as the Executive Director for the National Nuclear Security Administration Office of Systems Engineering and Integration, NA-18. He holds a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and a B.S. in History from the United States Military Academy. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he may be reached via email at The views expressed here are his own.

nuclear spread.jpg

Russian New and Experimental
Nuclear-Capable Missiles:
A Short Primer

Written by Christopher Mihal
Christopher Mihal
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