The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Lieutenant General Charles Hooper is the Former Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. A native of Willingboro, New Jersey, he was commissioned in 1979 as an infantryman. LTG Hooper has served in command and staff assignments in the U.S. Army Armor Center, the 25th Infantry Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. His political-military assignments include: Assistant Army Attaché to the People's Republic of China, U.S. Embassy Beijing, China; Deputy Division Chief, War Plans Division, G35, Army Staff; Senior Country Director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Chief, Army International Affairs Division, G35, Army Staff; and as an instructor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. In 2007, LTG Hooper was promoted to brigadier general and appointed the U.S. Defense Attaché to the People's Republic of China serving from 2007 until 2009. He then served as the Deputy Director for Strategic Planning and Policy, J-5, United States Pacific Command from 2009 to 2011. LTG Hooper was promoted to major general in 2011 and served as the Director of Strategy, Plans, and Programs, J5, United States Africa Command from August 2011 until March 2014. From July 2014 until June 2017, LTG Hooper was Senior U.S. Defense Official/U.S. Defense Attaché and Chief, Office of Military Cooperation, U.S. Embassy Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt. LTG Hooper is the senior U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer and has almost 16 years of security cooperation, security assistance and military attaché experience.
Captain Zeita Merchant is a Maritime Transportation and Emergency Management specialist who recently commanded USCG Marine Safety Unit Chicago executing the Coast Guard’s Port Safety and Security, Marine Environmental Protection, and Commercial Vessel Safety missions. As one of the Coast Guard’s top Emergency Managers, she deployed as Incident Commander to Texas and Puerto Rico during the unprecedented 2017 hurricane season to oversee response operations and maritime transportation reconstitution. Previously, she served as the Special Assistant to the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C. She also served as Executive Officer of USCG Marine Safety Unit Texas City, TX, and led maritime operations in Miami, FL and New Orleans, LA. Zeita is a Coast Guard Governmental Affairs Officer and served as a Military Congressional Fellow for the U.S. House of Representatives on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tougaloo College, a Master of Science in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from George Washington University; and a Doctorate in Business Administration. In addition, she served as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Fellow. Research interests include cyber security in supply chain management, talent management and cryptocurrency use in the maritime domain.
Colonel Thomas A. Caldwell most recently served as an observer/trainer at the National Training Center in Ft Irwin, CA. Tom is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a 1998 ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery Branch. His career assignments include being an enlisted 19D Cavalry Scout in 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Schweinfurt, Germany and Admin Specialist for 312th Postal Company, U. S. Army Reserves in Charlotte, NC. As an officer, Tom served as Company Fire Support Officer in Kosovo with KFOR, Fire Direction Officer, Battery Executive Officer, and Battalion Adjutant for 3rd Battalion, 320 Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Campbell, KY. He was the Brigade Assistant Operations Officer, 212th Field Artillery Brigade Fort Sill, OK; Commander of Bravo Battery in Iraq and of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, in Fort Sill, OK. He was Chief of Operations, Joint and Combined Integration Directorate Fort Sill, OK; Battalion Executive Officer 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery Fort Sill, OK ; Fire Support Coordinator and Brigade Assistant Operations Officer 214th Fires Brigade, Fort Sill, OK; and Battalion Executive Officer 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, in Fort Sill, OK. He served as a Security Forces Advise and Assist Team Chief, Regional Command South, in Maiwand, Afghanistan. He also served in Training and Doctrine Command in the Capability Development Integration Directorate, the Fires Center of Excellence in Fort Sill, OK; the Training and Force Protection Officer for the Military Observer Group Washington in HQDA G-3/5/7 Pentagon. Finally, he was the Battalion Commander at 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, TX.
Lieutenant Commander Roosevelt White Jr recently served as Deputy Executive Assistant, Director Navy Staff, in the Pentagon. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he is a 2006 graduate from Prairie View A&M University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and received his commission the same year. He completed his division officer tours as Repair Division Officer, Gunnery Officer, and Electronic Warfare Officer in USS LABOON (DDG 58) and as Training and Readiness Officer in USS VICKSBURG (CG 69). During his division officer tours, he deployed to US Sixth Fleet to support Operations ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR and NOBLE MIDAS as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG-2) and participated in Exercise Neptune Warrior. He also deployed to US Fifth Fleet, supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM as the Air Defense Commander of the DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Carrier Strike Group.
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Woods is a logistics Officer and recently served as the Commanding Officer of 1st Transportation Support Battalion from 2018-2020. He is a native of Cypress, Texas and received his commission through the Prairie View A&M Navy Reserve Officer Training program in 2000. Matt attended The Basic School and was subsequently designated a Logistics Officer. After attending the Logistics Officer’s course, he was assigned to 3d Battalion, 2d Marines where he served as a Platoon Commander and Battalion assistant logistics Officer from 2001 through 2004. He deployed with the Battalion to Okinawa, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program and to Iraq as part of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His second assignment from 2004-2006 was with 2nd Transportation Support Battalion where he served as a Company Executive Officer, Company Commander, and Battalion assistant operations Officer. He deployed with the company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. He attended resident Expeditionary Warfare School in 2006. Following school, he served as an instructor and staff member at The Basic School for three years. In 2010 he was assigned to 3d Marine Logistics Group in Okinawa Japan; he initially performed the duties of current operations Officer for 3d Marine Logistics Group before joining Combat Logistics Battalion 4. He served as the Operations Officer for Combat Logistics Battalion 4 and deployed with the Battalion to Afghanistan in support of operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon return from deployment he assumed the duties of executive Officer of 9th Engineer Support Battalion. He attended Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 2013. Matt reported to United States Southern Command after graduating from Command and Staff College. He served in the J4 and Commanders Action Group while assigned to SOUTHCOM. In 2017 he reported to 1st Marine Division to serve as the deputy G4. He assumed command of 1st Transportation Support Battalion in June of 2018.