SMA Speaker Series: Ethical and National Security Implications of Genetic Weapons

May 24, 2023

Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) General Speaker Session

“At times, biotechnology appears to blend science fiction and reality. The potential warfighting applications of biotechnology and the size of the bioeconomy has made biotechnology a focus point of the US-China rivalry. Dr. Biberman described the different steps and viewpoints of both nations relating to biotechnology and bioengineered weaponry. Since 2006, Chinese military officials have commented on the potential benefits of integrating biotechnology into the armed forces. A current perception is that China is one step ahead of the US. China focused on military-civil fusion during the 1990s and developed a five-year bioeconomic plan for 2021-2025. However, Dr. Biberman clarified that the US retains some dominance. The Biden Administration has acted to ensure the US remains ahead of China, including signing an executive order to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation. The order is designed to grow the US bioeconomy while also ensuring that this growth is achieved sustainably, safely, and ethically.”

SMA Speaker Series: CCP Weapons of Mass Persuasion

May 2, 2023

Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) General Speaker Session

“The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) origin is chronically understudied despite its strategic importance. The competitive strategy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today relies on information operations and techniques of cooption and subversion that the CCP learned during its first decade, the 1920s, coupled with approaches to conventional warfare honed soon thereafter. Dr. Deal and Ms. Harvey identified three recurring models or phases of CCP strategy: 1) internal takeover – coopting an adversary by appearing to cooperate or form a partnership with it, finding sympathizers in the nominal partner’s camp, and shaping joint activities in directions favorable to the CCP; 2) preparing for a break – exacerbating divisions within the partner’s camp and inflating the CCP’s capabilities to demoralize the partner in advance of a split; and 3) scripted military confrontation – launching a surprise attack designed to enable the CCP to exploit its superior preparation and positioning relative to the partner.”