Daily SA: Army has no plan to mitigate cyberattacks – Forward Observer

Daily SA: Army has no plan to mitigate cyberattacks

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 15 October 2021. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Army has no plan to mitigate cyberattacks against JADC2 network
  • J6 Committee weaponizes contempt charges
  • DSCA chief resigns over foreign military sales to Middle East
  • Social media reforms bring unintended consequence
  • In Focus: Protest organizations a front for revolutionary communism

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You can watch today’s Daily SA at https://youtube.com/forwardobserver

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

ARMY: An Inspector General (IG) review of the Army’s modernization program found significant gaps in cyber deterrence. The Army’s portion of the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) framework doesn’t include plans to mitigate cyber attacks from foreign actors. Otherwise known as Project Convergence, the Army program relies heavily on integrated networks across the battlefield. The failure to plan for cyber events targeting the JADC2 network is categorized by the IG as “not appropriate.” (AC: IG reviews of U.S. Defense programs routinely find significant gaps in capability or risk-mitigation, but the lack of planning for a cyber attack in a Joint environment is a strategic failure in motion. Near-peer and malign geopolitical actors prefer cyber operations as the U.S. consistently demonstrates their failure to understand the importance and impact of this emergent warfighting domain. – D.M.)

J6: The House Committee investigating the 6 Jan Capitol Hill protests will vote today on a criminal referral for Steve Bannon. The former Trump adviser did not appear before the committee, citing executive privilege. Other subpoenaed witnesses including Kash Patel were granted extensions by the committee, but Rep. Kinsinger (R-IL) said, “We have a limited threshold of patience for that.” President Biden will not allow former President Trump to assert executive privilege over documents, records, and communications regarding the Capitol Hill protest. (AC: The “ongoing cooperation” by former Trump associates is a delay tactic designed to slow the committee’s work as the investigation risks descending into political theater. The committee’s request for documents and White House cooperation places future administrations at risk for post facto partisan targeting of political enemies. A vote to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress risks weaponizing their investigatory powers alongside a complicit Justice Department. -D.M.)

ARMS SALES: Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) director Heidi Grant recently resigned from her position overseeing foreign military sales. While an official press release stated that she had already planned to leave, Grant was critical of the Biden administration’s decision not to supply U.S. military drones to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Middle East partners. After the decision, the UAE and others purchased similar drones from the Chinese military. (AC: This underscores the reality of a multi-polar world: China can provide competitive defense and security products where the United States doesn’t. Grant was critical of the decision, especially in light of the Biden administration’s shift to “strategic competition” with China, which will use these military sales to expand their influence in areas where they have previously had little to none, such as in the Middle East. Grant felt that the decision harmed the Biden administration’s new “strategic competition” strategy, which is a re-branding of the Trump administration’s Great Power Competition. – M.S.)

REFORM: The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced planned changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which would open up liability for social media companies. Since 1996, the section allows broad protection for social media companies against lawsuits for censoring or limiting content on their platforms. Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said, “These platforms are not passive bystanders — they are knowingly choosing profits over people, and our country is paying the price.” The legislation follows testimony by Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen, which many viewed as a set-up for introducing sweeping changes. (AC: The text of the bill is not yet available, but the proponents will target social media algorithms under the guise of safety. Recent targeting of social and political opposition by the FBI, Justice Department, investigatory bodies, and media entities is likely to weigh on the bill’s final text. As white supremacists are still considered the number one domestic threat by the FBI, we’ve witnessed an ever-expanding net of categories to include as potential domestic terrorists including; veterans, Trump voters, anti-medical mandate workers, and school board meeting attendees. The likely result is deplatforming and potential visits from federal agencies regarding social media activity, inducing a widespread chilling effect on social and political discourse. -D.M.)

HAZARDS WARNING

HURRICANE SEASON: Nothing significant to report.

In today’s Early Warning, Mike takes a look at recent protests hosted by revolutionary communist front organizations. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

Mike Shelby is a former Intelligence NCO and contractor. He's now the CEO of Forward Observer.

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