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The character of war is changing. Our adversaries no longer have to engage the United States kinetically. They have shifted their strategy to engage our nation asymmetrically, exploiting the seams of our democracy, authorities, and even our morals. They can respond to a kinetic action non-kinetically and often in misattributed ways through blended operations that take place through the supply chain, cyber domain, and human elements. They can render our national capability to project power—hard or soft—non-mission ready and collapse and even reverse the decision cycle. To directly address this new era, particular attention is needed on the supply chain attack vector. This talk will introduce the foundation of a strategy developed by Mr Nissen’s team at MITRE called Deliver Uncompromised. This requires commitment at the enterprise rather than the element level—for the USG, its contractor base, and the private sector at large. These options span legislation and regulation, policy and administration, acquisition and oversight, programs and technology. Actions are presented for the near, medium, and long terms—recognizing the need for immediate action coupled with a long-term commitment and strategy. Current updates of how the USG and private sectors are responding to the recognition of the asymmetric era since the release of the report will be discussed.
Christopher Nissen is currently Director of Asymmetric Threat Response & Supply Chain Security at the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit which operates and manages seven Federally-Funded R&D Centers (FFRDCs) serving in the National Interest. He has 30 years of experience in developing solutions for extremely complex national security challenges. In his current role, he works across the corporation developing essential strategic elements to address non-kinetic, full-spectrum asymmetric threats to national security both in the public and private sectors. Two of the primary attack vectors utilized by these threats are supply chains and ICS cyber-physical. Chris has developed extensive work programs in these and other domains across the technology, policy, and legislative solution spaces. Chris has also served as Director of the Communications and Networking Technical Center, leading a division of over 230 engineers in a diverse portfolio of programs and technology development spanning microelectronics to satellite communications. Some of his accomplishments include putting forth an original vision for the development of an anti-jam capability for the nation’s Global Positioning Satellite system, and the development and implementation of several special communications techniques. He holds BSEE and MSEE degrees and has also has a background in structured analytical techniques.
Most recently, Chris lead a senior study team that produced the report “Deliver Uncompromised, A Strategy for Supply Chain Security and Resilience in Response to the Changing Character of War” which is available at: https://www.mitre.org/publications/technical-papers/deliver-uncompromised-a-strategy-for-supply-chain-security