Coffee & Conversation with The Special Competitive Studies Project

October 25, 2022 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM Virtual

On October 25, the Special Competitive Studies Project’s Peter Mattis, Director for Intelligence, and Meagan Waff, Associate Director for Intelligence, joined INSA for Coffee and Conversation to discuss their recent report, “Intelligence in an Age of Data-Driven Competition.” In the conversation with INSA Vice President for Policy, Larry Hanauer, Mattis and Waff discussed the need for the U.S. government to establish new intelligence collection centers to more effectively compete with China.

First, they emphasized the need for a Techno-Economic Intelligence Center to bolster the collection of economic intelligence on Chinese firms. Technology plays an increasingly central role in the U.S.-Sino rivalry, necessitating the collection of more intelligence on Chinese firms. Additionally, Mattis and Waff recommended that the IC reconsider the processes for clearing personnel with foreign ties.

They also spoke to the increasing sophistication of state-directed disinformation operations. In response, they emphasized the need to operationalize the Congressionally approved Foreign Malign Influence Center that will coordinate work among several IC agencies related to disinformation.

Finally, Mattis and Waff considered IC’s need to establish an Open-Source Center, dedicated to the collection and analysis of OSINT. They argued that the effective collection and analysis of OSINT requires an independent center of gravity to enable more widespread applications.