We are entering a world in which cyber disruptions easily become supply chain disruptions, and where supply chains for hardware and software create new cyber risks. Managing these will demand digital-era solutions, including updating tools, regulations, and reporting requirements.
Infrastructure investments the United States makes today to recover from the pandemic can help boost resilience for the future. We will need to think beyond what we've done in the past to ensure that these investments can continue to protect the nation from shifting threats in the future.
The U.S. military relies heavily on commercial energy assets, making the implications of events like the Colonial Pipeline outage more serious than just higher prices at the gas pump. The origins and severity of an attack dictate what the United States might do in response.
Artificial intelligence is increasingly a crucial tool for improvement and innovation in public policy and services. While there are opportunities to harness AI as a tool for improving the effectiveness of border-security functions, there are also barriers to its adoption.
The many pandemic-related shortages that occurred in the United States and elsewhere provide a clear warning. Serious supply-chain vulnerabilities exist. We need to learn much more about this potential threat to national security.
With U.S. domestic challenges ranging from the ongoing pandemic to long-delayed infrastructure investments, now is a good time to consider spending that provides both domestic and national security benefits. Infrastructure spending offers one such example.
The U.S. military will need to improve its software fluency if it wants to be dominant on the battlefields of the future. Ensuring that future leaders in the military develop cyber skills and the ability to interface with technical experts may be increasingly important.
The technological advances of recent decades that have made supply networks drastically more efficient, valuable, and essential to every element of our daily lives have also created a highly interdependent, largely unsecured portfolio of potential attack surfaces.
China and Iran made a deal in which China promised to boost its investment in Iranian infrastructure in exchange for a steady supply of oil. This uptick in Chinese influence does not necessarily erode U.S. power in the region. The United States may even find overlapping interests with China since both have a stake in containing conflicts and instability.
Lessons from the pandemic will be sorted through for years. But one thing seems very clear: The United States is not ready in a policy or infrastructure or even physical-capacity sense to respond to major shocks to its supply chains.
As climate change accelerates there is a growing disconnect between what our infrastructure systems can do and what we need them to do. Policymakers should view infrastructure investments as not simply hardware fixes and upgrades, but as efforts to close this gap.
As Congress and the White House debate how to assist the Postal Service, it will be important to understand the effects of proposed cost-cutting measures on mail delivery of vital services, smaller and rural communities, low-income communities, and the USPS's broader public safety and security functions.
The world is barreling toward a more volatile climate with infrastructure designed for the past. With infrastructure widely expected to be prioritized in Congress soon, every infrastructure bill is also a climate bill. It is critical that we make our infrastructure climate-safe.
The recent spectacle of a hulking container ship wedged into the Suez Canal is a reminder of how vulnerable maritime transportation is to blocked chokepoints. The fragility of maritime lifelines may encourage the use of this tactic in future conflict.