Highlights – Mike Rogers at CSIS

Mike Rogers interview – 2018 Global Security Forum – Prospects and Priorities for U.S. Gray Zone Competition

The Center for Strategic and International Studies held a discussion with Mike Rogers, Admiral, U.S. Navy retired, on gray zone activities on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Six months after his retirement as a four-star Admiral and former commander of USCYBERCOM and NSA, ADM Rogers offered his perspectives on the gray zone at CSIS’s 2018 Global Security Forum.


– Two macro concerns remain: (1) What are the implications for national security for massive technology changes (AI, 5G, quantum) that we see today and the near term? and (2) The nature of competition is changing in a way that the world around us is changing; unsure from a government perspective in terms of recognition reaction and policy development if the U.S. has crystalized thinking

– Most nations have concluded to not go head-to-head in armed conflict against the U.S. – if you want national advantage, what tools and tactics are available that don’t trigger U.S. superiority? Ambiguity slows U.S. processes down and competitors understand this.  Competitors think of how to get the U.S. to slow it’s policy mechanisms (ambiguous nature of operations.)  The way to sustain advantage against the U.S. in a world where the U.S. has significantly strong advantage and capabilities is to go after institutions, values, and cause Americans to question internally.

– With Silicon Valley, I would not want something jammed down from government – I would partner with the government to see if I could develop something that ensures my business competitiveness and execute this function, this informational dynamic where people are assuming identity, and hosting or generating content that is absolutely false.

– Look through two prisms: identity and accuracy.  It is about technology, culture and ethos. The offensive side still has the advantage – defense is within reach but is harder.  A good strategy needs to keep people out and also drive out those who got in.  Ensuring a democratic outcome that generates confidence from its citizens is critical infrastructure.  Consider data concentrations as data is the prize. Nation-states are developing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum to capitalize on data to generate outcomes (the gold).

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