International Security & Defense

535 Items

A U.S. flag is unfurled at the Pentagon

AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Analysis & Opinions - Military Times

The US is Safer from Jihadi Terrorism 20 Years after 9/11

| Jan. 13, 2022

Jacqueline L. Hazelton  details why the international jihadi terrorist threat to the United States is down since the al-Qaida attacks of 20 years ago. Not through war or other uses of organized violence, but through cooperation, use of legal and financial tools, and strengthening homeland defense and resilience.

Les Droits de l’Homme, 1947 - a surrealist painting showing an anthropomorphic chess piece standing on a bridge next to a flaming tuba.

Rene Magritte

Report

Whose Streets? Our Streets! (Tech Edition)

    Author:
  • Rebecca Williams
| August 2021

This report is an urgent warning of where we are headed if we maintain our current trajectory of augmenting our public space with trackers of all kinds. In this report, I outline how current “smart city” technologies can watch you. I argue that all “smart city” technology trends toward corporate and state surveillance and that if we don’t stop and blunt these trends now that totalitarianism, panopticonism, discrimination, privatization, and solutionism will challenge our democratic possibilities. This report examines these harms through cautionary trends supported by examples from this last year and provides 10 calls to action for advocates, legislatures, and technology companies to prevent these harms. If we act now, we can ensure the technology in our public spaces protect and promote democracy and that we do not continue down this path of an elite few tracking the many. 

A miniature of “The War Room” as depicted in the 1964 classic film Dr. Strangelove

Courtesy Eric Chan  and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CC-BY 2.0

Paper

Toward a Collaborative Cyber Defense and Enhanced Threat Intelligence Structure

| August 2021

National security structures envisioned in the 20th century are inadequate for the cyber threats that America faces in the 21st century. These structures, created to address strategic, external threats on one end, and homeland security emergencies on the other, cannot protect us from ambient cyber conflict, because they were designed for different times and threats. Our nation—comprising the federal government, private sector companies, critical infrastructure operators, state and local governments, nonprofits and universities, and even private citizens—are constantly under attack by a myriad of cyber actors with ever-increasing capabilities. 

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Announcement - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Chris Krebs Named Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center

| July 29, 2021

Christopher (Chris) Krebs, former Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), has been named a non-resident Senior Fellow with the Homeland Security Project and the Cyber Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

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Paper

Disrupting Transnational Criminal Activity: A Law Enforcement Strategy for Homeland Security

| May 21, 2021

Transnational criminal activity, organized or not, presents a substantial internal security threat to the United States as it does to other nation-states across the world. Combating it remains a critical mission in the homeland security enterprise. Federal efforts across that enterprise, however, remain scattered and largely ineffectual, and many types of transnational crime are resistant to the law enforcement tactics used domestically.

This paper proposes that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) take the lead in supplementing the traditional “criminal justice” approach to countering transnational crime with strategies that aim to disrupt it and insulate Americans from its harmful effects. We contend the “Disruption Model” outlined here,* if broadly implemented, could significantly complement the current conventional approach, and produce materially improved results in managing the challenges of transnational crime and protecting the homeland from its ravages.

Voters mark their ballots during early voting at the Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Report - Defending Digital Democracy

Beyond 2020: Policy Recommendations for the Future of Election Security

| February 2021

The 2020 election presents a paradox. Despite dramatic changes to the election process due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly complex threats since the 2016 election, 2020 is widely regarded as “the most secure [election] in American history.” Operationally, it was also one of the smoothest. State and local election officials overcame unprecedented challenges and scarce resources to administer an election with fewer incidents of cyber compromises, technical failures or long lines than anticipated. After Election Day, recount procedures functioned as designed. Yet, amidst these successes, officials from both parties faced a barrage of mis- and disinformation about the election process that served to undermine confidence in the result.

Though the election security ecosystem survived the triple threat of cybersecurity, physical security, and mis- and disinformation in 2020, this success will prove to be hard to replicate in future election cycles without proper investment and reinforcement.