September 15 to 16, 2022 National Harbor, MD
The 2022 Intelligence and National Security Summit, powered by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and AFCEA International, saw nearly 2000 attendees over two days. The conference theme was Innovation, technology, and great power competition and carried through in sessions ranging from the Chinese threat to US supply chains to technology futures, and Russia-Ukraine. The powerful program culminated with the IC directors panel a strategic perspective on the current national security environment.
Plenary 1: The Hon. Christine Abizaid, Director, National Counterterrorism Center
Moderated by Lt Gen Bob Noonan, USA (Ret.), the conversation focused on shifting U.S. intelligence requirements in an age of great power competition. Dir. Abizaid argued that while terrorism is “the threat that keeps on giving,” the shift in the IC's priorities and requirements towards great power competition is the correct policy for the country. The counterterrorism threat environment remains critical—as seen through the elimination of Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri and ISIS’s Haji Abdullah— but shifting requirements have forced NCTC to work more collaboratively and innovatively with other agencies and partners to maximize resources.
Chinese Threats to U.S. Supply Chains
- LTG Thomas Horlander, USA (Ret.), Strategic Business Development Manager for Defense and National Security, Intel
- Jeanette McMillan, Assistant Director for the Supply Chain and Cyber Directorate (SCD), National Counterintelligence and Security Center
- Halimah Najieb-Locke, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD), Industrial Base Resilience
- Peter Swartz, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Altana AI
- Moderator: David Barboza, Co-founder and Staff Writer, The Wire
Panelists discussed the Chinese threats to U.S. supply chains emanating from cyberspace, hardware, and software. From a government perspective, panelists spoke about the threat to the defense industrial base, the Executive Order adding supply chain risks to CFIUS reviews, and the potential to diversify supply chains among allied and friendly nations. From a private sector perspective, Peter Swartz from Altana AI spoke about the potential of AI to help fuse multiple databases into a single federated analytics system and how that can help to narrow the gaps in supply chain monitoring. Finally, General Horlander focused on the private sector and the importance of investing in America’s domestic capacity and supply chains.
Leading Change: A Look at the CIO, CDO, and CDAO Roles
- Dr. Kelly Fletcher, Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense
- Dr. Craig Martell, Chief Digital and AI Officer, The Department of Defense’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO)
- Lori Wade, IC Chief Data Officer, Assistant DNI for Data and Partnership Interoperability, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- Moderator: LTG Susan Lawrence, USA (Ret.), President & CEO, AFCEA International
Panelists representing the positions of Chief Data Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Digital and AI Officer discussed their roles and the importance of data to the intelligence and national security communities. Topics included building strong public-private partnerships as well as partnerships within government and between each of the roles represented on the panel. The panelists also discussed the potential of automation enhanced by artificial intelligence and machine learning in collecting and analyzing the vast amounts of data available. They also spoke about the importance of developing a workforce with the expertise to exploit this data capability. Additionally, the panelists discussed how the US should think about classifying data, especially when much of it is publicly available. Lastly, they discussed the cyber threat to data and the importance of zero trust access frameworks.
Plenary 2: Fireside Chat with The Hon. Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Secretary of Defense, DoD and Letitia A. Long, Chair, Board of Directors, INSA
The discussion kicked off with Hicks addressing the importance of the U.S. sharing declassified intelligence to increase connectivity with Ukraine on indications and warnings to improve their preparedness for Russia’s invasion. Hicks also discussed the lessons learned from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and how they will be applied in the Indo-Pacific as the U.S. seeks to protect the rule-based order that China is currently challenging. The fireside chat also touched on the DoD’s efforts to mitigate security risks through greater resiliency in U.S. supply chains and in space, increase defense spending on technologies such as hyper sonics to outcompete U.S. adversaries, and efforts to attract future workforce talent.
Public Data & Intelligence Community Analysis: Improving Integration of Public-Private Capabilities & Understanding the Impact on National Security Decision-Making
Dr. Frederick Kagan, Director, Critical Threats Project, American Enterprise Institute
Greg Ryckman, Deputy Director for Global Integration, Defense Intelligence Agency
Kristin Wood, CEO, Grist Mill Exchange
Moderator: LTG Robert Ashley, Jr., USA (Ret.), CEO, Ashley Global Leadership & Security
This panel highlighted key objectives and thought processes of public and private sector leaders, emphasizing open-source intelligence (OSINT), analytic tradecraft, information collection, and private-partnership integration. Integrating OSINT at all levels is complicated but necessary- the government and private sector should not expect a new agency to pop up and take care of all things open source- this is not an issue that can be fixed with a blank check. Speed, collaboration, and flexibility will be necessary to succeed in changing the OSINT landscape.
- Dr. John Huth, Chief of Space and Counterspace, DIA
- David Gauthier. Director of Commercial and Operations Business Group, NGA
- Tony Frazier, Executive VP and General Manager, Public Sector Earth Intelligence, Maxar
- James Doggett, VP of Mission Assurance, Hawkeye360
- Frank Garcia, Professional Staff Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Moderator: Sandra Erwin, Senior Reporter, Space News
Commercial technology in space has demonstrated its profound mission effect in real-time through Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The NGA and NRO are actively increasing contracts with commercial providers to continue driving the information advantage displayed. However, they also want to see where analytic services may be added to shorten the analytic product timeline. With a large amount of important data, the tactical edge is derived from how fast the on-orbit data can get to a ground network and then into decision-makers' hands as tactically actionable analysis. Government is looking for increased service provisions from industry to support this, especially in the scope of space domain awareness. Commercial companies are seeking different and flexible acquisition methods, so they can get their products and data to scale in a quicker, more adaptable way.
Plenary 3: Military Service Intelligence Priorities
- Brig Gen Gregory Gagnon, USSF, Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, HQ U.S. Space Force
- Leonel Garciga, Army, Director of Information Management, HQDA-DCS-G2, U.S. Army
- Lt Gen Leah Lauderback, USAF, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations HQ U.S. Air Force/A2
- MajGen William Seely, III, Director of Intelligence, HQ Marine Corps
- VADM Jeff Trussler, USN, Director of Naval Intelligence, Deputy Chief of Naval Operation for Information Warfare, N2/N6, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
- Moderator: Lt Gen Bob Noonan, USA (Ret.), Chair, AFCEA Intelligence Committee
The Military Services’ intelligence leaders discussed the rapid rise of China and what a shift to great power competition means to them. They also described the services’ ability to engage in joint operations and their close relationships as a stark advantage over most militaries worldwide. Another topic was the increasing importance of data and the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning for intelligence and warfighting. Lastly, the services’ intelligence chiefs discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine and what lessons the US could glean from it.
Plenary four: Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Implications for U.S. National Security
- Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute
- Brigadier General Peter Zwack (Ret.), Global Fellow, The Woodrow Wilson Center – Kennan Institute
- Moderator: Julian Barnes, National Security Reporter, New York Times
To kick off Friday’s programming, New York Times National Security Reporter, Julian Barnes, sat down with Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Executive Director, McCain Institute, and Brigadier General Peter Zwack (Ret.), Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center, to examine the Russia-Ukraine war in light of Ukraine’s northern counteroffensive. The panelists argued that the counteroffensive reflects both Ukraine’s seizure of the initiative in the conflict and Russia’s enduring struggle to overcome Ukrainian morale and will to fight. Complementing Ukrainians’ enduring will is a concerted and revived U.S. effort to declassify and share intelligence more robustly, which the panelists argued publicly encourages the world to “put their chips down on the winning side.” With momentum building in favor of the Ukrainian side of the conflict, the panelists finally advocated for the United States and its allies to immediately resupply weapons and resources to the Ukrainians before the war enters a potentially grueling winter, inevitably introducing more friction to the war.
Midterms 2022: Election Security
- Glenn Gerstell, Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Geoff Hale, Director of the Election Security Initiative, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
- Grace Hoyt, Account Security Partnerships, Google
- Debora Plunkett, Cybersecurity Leader and Former Director of Information Assurance, NSA
- Moderator: Jeffrey Seldin, National Security Correspondent, Voice of America
The 2020 Presidential election was the most secure election in U.S. history, as no election had that many cyber and physical security assessments operationalized. The threat moving forward remains more with intentional influence operations rather than direct interference. Adversaries are now poised to take advantage of the divide in American society over trust in the current election system. The most prominent area of concern lies with campaigns, candidates, and other persons of interest falling victim to phishing scams. Civic education and a better understanding of the complex voting process would help the public better understand influence operations and threats elections face.
- Dr. Catherine Marsh, Director, Intelligence Advance Research Projects Activity (IARPA)
- Dr. Lisa Porter, Co-President, LogiQ
- Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
- Moderator: Lewis Shepherd, Vice Chair of the AFCEA Intelligence Committee, Senior Direct of Research and Innovation, VMware
Panelists discussed the role of government in fostering innovation and supporting the development of next-generation technologies. Topics included the roles of DARPA and IARPA. They also discussed the potentially disruptive effects of emerging technologies and how the US can build its resilience. Lastly, panelists talked about the importance of securing US innovations from foreign espionage and the need for increased investment in science and technology.
Plenary 5: Strategic Intelligence Challenges
- Paul Abbate, Deputy Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
- George C. Barnes, Deputy Director, National Security Agency
- LTG Scott Berrier, USA, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
- The Hon. David Cohen, Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency
- The Hon. Christopher J. Scolese, Director, National Reconnaissance Office
- VADM Frank Whitworth, Director, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
- Moderator: J.J. Green, National Security Correspondent, WTOP Radio
The leaders of the Big Six IC agencies, NSA, NGA, CIA, FBI, DIA, and NRO, discussed what had changed in the last year and how their agencies were adjusting. They discussed space as a contested environment and the role of commercial space platforms in US strategic thinking. They also pointed to the successful elimination of Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri as evidence that the US can simultaneously engage in great power competition and combat terrorism. Other topics included the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the strategic threat from China, mis-and-disinformation, the potential implication for emerging technologies, and the IC workforce. Lastly, the panelists discussed the future of the IC workforce, speaking about initiatives to improve both recruitment and retention.