What began on January 6, 2021 (in the chambers and halls of the United States Capitol with an unprecedented attack on the seat of government) culminated (almost two years to the date) in December of 2022 (in those same chambers and halls of the Capitol building) with the submission of the final report by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attacks on the United States Capitol, complete with the historically unprecedented criminal referral of a former U. S. President to the Department of Justice with accusations of “obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government, and inciting or assisting an insurrection.” The Congressional report and criminal referral process are only a symbolic ending of the threat of violent domestic terrorism in the U.S., according to a DHS National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin in November 2022 (a bulletin which remains in effect through May of 2023), as the “United States remains in a heightened threat environment.” The DHS bulletin also highlights the role of foreign influence, particularly from Russia, in seeding unrest in the United States.
OODA Network Member (and one of the founders of the modern counter-terrorism research domain) Brian Jenkins, characterized the challenge of ongoing violent, domestic terrorism in 2023 in the following manner: “…the extremists do have national attention. They have supportive media outlets. They have not insignificant popular support…this is much more of a social and political movement than…the tiny groups we had running around in the 1970s…this will take a long time. There was a campaign over many years to deal with a couple of dozen former liberal arts majors who were in The Weather Underground and were out their bombing. It took us more than 10 years. So, this is something that is going to go on for a long time. There is no immediate solution.”
Also in 2022: a mid-term election resulted in a rebuke of the mis- and disinformation ecosystem, with what should have been upwards of a forty to sixty seat changeover of House seats away from the presiding party (historically a referendum on the party of the current POTUS), ended with only one of the 2020 “election results denying candidates” winning in Ohio. The result is an opposing party control of the House of Representatives of only five seats and the presiding party picking up one seat in the Senate (maintaining their already slim majority).
Democracy Under Attack at Home and Abroad
This free and fair election in the U.S. took place in the shadow of a federal response to the 9th month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which started in February 2022 (in the form of sanctions, diplomatic interventions, direct financial assistance, and the provision of arms, amongst other “soft power” efforts in support of the Ukrainian people displaced by the war).
As war raged in Europe, the 2022 election result in the U.S. was of strategic importance as we head into 2023, in so much as it made the difference between a further slip into systemic political failure and a hobbled constitutional order wrought by information disorder and weak cognitive infrastructure in the U.S. The “coalition” that came out to vote in the 2022 midterms will be the subject of much study and debate. What matters is that enough of a signal-to-noise ratio was sorted out by enough of the U.S. voting public to provide a clear electoral mandate and course correction “by the people” (as opposed to failed special counsel proceedings and two impeachments with an inability to convict).
The predicted alternative election results and scenarios would have included further uncertainty and further political chaos – with the questioning of the legitimacy of the election process at the center of an argument against the broader legitimacy of the entire political system in the U.S., the potential for day-to-day governance devolving into further dysfunction (if not to a screeching halt altogether) and further impacts on U.S. prestige and global trust relationships within the global coalition (historically led by the U.S.), specifically within the intelligence community and vital, trust-based information sharing amongst coalition partner nations’ intelligence agencies.
National Security Investment for American Competitiveness
A major development in 2022 was based on the release in July of the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) report – Mid-Decade Challenges for National Competitiveness – and the private sector (specifically the venture capital community) mobilizing to partner with the USG in what has been coined the National Security Investment for American Competitiveness space, with the formation of America’s Frontier Fund (AFF) and the Quad Investor Network.
In October, members of the AFF team joined us at OODAcon 2022, as the potential for public/private partnership was a topic for a panel discussion at the conference – Canceling the Apocalypse: Funding the Next Generation of Innovation – with many insights and takeaways which have influenced the research agenda and operations at OODA Loop for 2023. Overall, national security investment for American competitiveness became an influential framework for accelerating innovation at speed and scale in partnership with the private sector on a strategic timeframe.
The Beltway 2022
The federal government continued to grapple with the following issues simultaneously over the course of 2022:
- Domestic pandemic response, including economic policy to address the economic downturn and the global supply chain issues caused by the duration of the pandemic.
- Global IT supply chain disruptions in the form of semiconductor shortages impacting major industries like automotive manufacturing, including factory closures, and workforce layoffs. Ransomware incidents also remained prevalent in 2022.
- The rolling revelations, indictments, arrests, and testimonies provided by law enforcement and the January 6th House Committee;
- The mis- and disinformation, information disorder, and cyberwar ecosystem.
- War conditions in Europe (exacerbating supply chain issues and straining resources in NATO countries).
- Climate change and extreme weather crises and emergencies; and
- Tragic mass shootings.
Year three of the governmental response to the Covid-19 pandemic (as well as federal responses to climate crises, related extreme weather events, and another year of tragic mass shootings) continues to occupy the Biden administration and the whole of government resources of the USG.
As of this writing, 18,000 flights have been canceled during the December 2022 travel season impacted by a bomb cyclone, and arctic blast conditions brought on by climate change have stranded thousands of domestic air passengers for days, with 28 casualties. Running parallel to these challenges: “US public health officials are bracing for a Covid-19 surge in the coming weeks following indoor holiday gatherings among a populace that has abandoned preventive measures. Concerns over this uptick come amid rising influenza and RSV cases in America. This so-called ‘tripledemic,’ experts warn, could further strain the already overburdened US health system. (1)
Strong Strategic Legislation and Regulatory Frameworks Emerged in 2022
In the end, the true narrative of the U.S. Government in 2022 can be found in the pages of the unprecedented legislation which were signed into law in 2022, as well as high-impact, strategic executive orders, reports, and memorandums, namely:
The Biden-Harris Plan to Revitalize American Manufacturing and Secure Critical Supply Chains in 2022: One year ago, President Biden signed Executive Order 14017 directing an all-of-government approach to assess vulnerabilities in – and strengthening the resilience of – the United States’ critical supply chains. Within six months of taking office, the Administration completed a comprehensive review of the supply chains for four critical products, identified solutions to secure those supply chains against a wide range of risks and vulnerabilities, and established a first-of-its-kind Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force (SCDTF) to address the challenges arising from a pandemic-affected economic recovery.
U.S. Crypto, Digital Assets, and National Security Policy: We evaluate U.S. crypto and digital asset initiatives announced via executive order in March of 2022. See also Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.
The Chips and Science Act of 2022: As we race towards the end of the 2022 calendar year, the following is a Q422 tracking and sensemaking post organized as a case study of Intel Corp., informed by the 2021 OODA Loop Stratigame – Scenario Planning for Global Computer Chip Supply Chain Disruption – and OODA Loop tracking, research, and analysis of the implementation phase of the recently passed Chips and Science Act of 2022.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), “which was signed into law in August 2022, will cut Americans’ energy costs, create good jobs, and transform U.S. efforts to address the climate crisis. It is the largest single step that Congress has ever taken to address climate change.” (2)
CHIPS for America-Strategy: This document describes the U.S. Department of Commerce’s implementation strategy for the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Fund, a $50 billion investment to catalyze long-term growth in the domestic semiconductor industry in support of our national and economic security.
United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021: The Chips and Science act has its origins in this legislation and was taken out it and fast-tracked in 2022.
National Security Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems: There were many follow-on EOs released in 2022 based on this memorandum (NSM8) released in January 2022.
The Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act 0f 2022 passed the Senate on Friday, December 16th) was signed into law a few days later. The bill is an outgrowth of National Security Memorandum 8 (NSM8): “Improving the Cybersecurity of National Security, Department of Defense and Intelligence Community Systems”. NSM8 appeared to have been inspired by Project Warp Speed – specifically, the elimination of layers of reportage and bureaucracy when trying to innovate with unprecedented speed and scale. With NSM8 and National Security Systems (NSS), the goal was not so much the acceleration of innovation, but the ability to “defend forward” at speed and scale – with a tight OODA Loop between the White House and the NSA. Once signed, the legislation represents the codification into law of the NSM8 strategic directives for what will be “the greatest cryptographic migration in history”.
The Biden-Harris Administration’s National Security Strategy: The White House released the 2022 National Security Strategy (NSS) which “appropriately brands China ‘the only [U.S.] competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it.’ Yet the document holds out the prospect that China and the United States can ‘work together, for the good of our people and for the good of the world on issues such as climate or pandemics.’” (6) Some editorial boards and China watchers consider this sentiment expressed in the NSS more than a bit Pollyanna.
The Federal Zero Trust Strategy through 2024: The federal government will move to a “zero-trust” cybersecurity strategy by 2024. The final plan was released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and includes insights from cybersecurity professionals, non-profit organizations, and private industry. “This strategy will serve as the foundation for a paradigm shift in Federal cybersecurity, and provide a model for others to follow,” says Federal Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeRusha. The plan is realistic: “Transitioning to a zero-trust architecture will not be a quick or easy task for an enterprise as complex and technologically diverse as the Federal Government.” We provide a breakdown of the timeline and the strategic priorities of this important announcement.
2023 National Defense Authorization Act: For the 62nd consecutive year, Congress has reached a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Each year, the NDAA authorizes funding levels and provides authorities for the U.S. military and other critical defense priorities, ensuring our troops have the training, equipment, and resources they need to carry out their missions. This year’s agreement, the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, focuses on the most vital national security priorities for the United States, including strategic competition with China and Russia; disruptive technologies like hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, 5G, and quantum computing; modernizing our ships, aircraft, and vehicles; and improving the lives of our service members and their families.
Noteworthy news briefs and OODA Loop analysis of the federal government throughout 2022 have been compiled below in chronological order.
2022 Year-end Review: Federal
- OODA Salon Wednesday 19 January 2022: Commercial Technology and National Security
- Intel Reveals Plans for Massive New Ohio Factory, Fighting the Chip Shortage Stateside
- National Cognitive Infrastructure Protection: What Can We Learn from the Swedish Psychological Defence Authority?
- The Next Phase of the DARPA Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI): The Joint University Microelectronics Program 2.0 (JUMP 2.0)
- The ASML Holding’s Factory Fire and Specialized Manufacturing Equipment for Semiconductor Production
- The Air Force “Need for Speed”: The End of the Requirements Up Front Model, Software Factories and Digital Transformation
- Final Plan for Federal Zero Trust Strategy through 2024 Released by White House and OMB
- National Security Memorandum 8 Gives NSA Director Centralized National Security Systems Portfolio
- FACT SHEET: President Biden Signs National Security Memorandum to Improve the Cybersecurity of National Security, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community Systems
- Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Expands Public-Private Cybersecurity Partnership to Water Sector
- Memorandum on Improving the Cybersecurity of National Security, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community Systems | The White House
- A Warning for the U.S. Chip Industry: Russian Retaliation Could Hit Supply of Key Materials
- Construction of TSMC’s U.S. chip plant delayed by labor crunch, COVID
- Is Bitcoin a National Security Risk?
- Department of Defense Acknowledges that Contractor Consolidation has Created a National Security Risk
- In 2022, the Strategic Impact of Global Intermodal Supply Chain Gridlock on IT Supply Chain Remains High
- The World’s Largest Digital Twin Modeling and Simulation Project
- Fact Sheet: Department of Defense Releases New Report on Safeguarding our National Security by Promoting Competition in the Defense Industrial Base
- Open-Source Intelligence Resources: The USGS 2022 List of Critical Minerals
- Russia-Ukraine crisis replaces Covid as the top risk to global supply chains, Moody’s says
- What Will The Federal Government Do In Response To The Rise of Cryptocurrencies?
- The CISA Shields Up! Initiative
- What The C-Suite Needs To Know About The Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
- Project Hamilton: The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and The MIT Digital Currency Initiative
- Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets
- Statement by NEC Director Brian Deese and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on New Digital Assets Executive Order
- Global Computer Chip Supply Chain Disruptions – An Update
- The Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act Builds on National Security Memorandum 8
- Opportunities for Advantage: Maintaining a Strong “Stay Rate” in the U.S. for International STEM PhD Graduates
- DoD Seeking Innovative Ideas on Logistics For Modern Times
- ‘The big one is coming’: tech giant’s stark Russia warning
- Texas Instruments breaks ground on new 300-mm semiconductor wafer fabrication plants in Sherman, Texas
- NIST updates guidance for cybersecurity supply chain risk management
- A lesson from the war in Ukraine: Secure our semiconductor supply chains
- The Current State of the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Shows Signs of Strategic Strength
- Taiwan’s GlobalWafers to Build a $5 Billion Plant in Sherman, Texas
- Chip makers stall new US plants until Congress unlocks $52B in funding
- Chip exports to Russia plunged by 90% after curbs-U.S. official
- The CHIPS Act up for Unexpected Vote to Approve $62 Billion Semiconductor Industry Subsidy
- CHIPS Plus Act Passes Senate Procedural Vote on Way to Final $52 Billion Semiconductor Industry Subsidy
- Bipartisan $280 Billion Chips and Science Act Passes in Senate
- View the CHIPS+ Legislation – U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Tran…
- Chip designers warm to U.S. bill despite big benefits to Intel
- CHIPS and Science Act Will Lower Costs, Create Jobs, Strengthen Supply Chains, and Counter China
- U.S. Chip Fabs “Shovel Ready” as Soon as CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 Signed into Law Today
- Qualcomm to spend $4.2 billion more on chips from GlobalFoundries
- What Next? Dr. Melissa Flagg and Dr. Jennifer Buss on the Chips and Science Act of 2022 (Part 1 of 2)
- No Time to Waste: The Pentagon Needs an Innovation Overhaul
- With the U.S. Delegation in Asia, We Revisit our OODA Stratigame Insights about Taiwan
- Part I: DARPA, The Valley of Death, and Answering the Crucial Project Questions Upfront
- Part II: DARPA, NASA, IARPA, DoD, Courage, Leadership, and Aurelius’ Meditations
- Incentives, Infrastructure, and Research and Development Needs to Support a Strong Domestic Semiconductor Industry: Summary of Responses to Request for Information (nist.gov)
- Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry
- What Next? Dr. Melissa Flagg and Dr. Jennifer Buss on the Chips and Science Act of 2022 (Part 2 of 2)
- Commerce, NIST, and Implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022
- CHIPS-for-America-Strategy (Sept 6, 2022).pdf (nist.gov)
- A Proactive National Technology Strategy in the Great Power Competition with China
- White House Unveils Framework For Regulating Cryptocurrency
- NSA sets 2035 post-quantum cryptography deadline; Joint Advisories with CISA and FBI
- White House Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets
- Justice Department Announces Report on Digital Assets and Launches Nationwide Network
- Biden-Harris Administration Expands Public-Private Cybersecurity Partnership to Chemical Sector
- Remarks on Executing a Modern American Industrial Strategy by NEC Director Brian Deese
- CHIPS.Gov | NIST
- Biden Administration Wants To Make It Easier To Seize Crypto Without Criminal Charges
- U.S. aims to hobble China’s chip industry with sweeping new export rules
- Biden-Harris Administration’s National Security Strategy.pdf
- Will Know Your Customer (KYC) Verification Regulations Stifle Crypto Innovation? And the Future of Money?
- The Chips Act and Intel Corp. in Q422: the Mobileye IPO, Intel Foundry Services, the Silicon Heartland and Enabling National Security Applications
- FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Expands Public-Private Cybersecurity Partnership to Chemical Sector
- US Gov Issues Software Supply Chain Security Guidance for Customers
- Brian Jenkins on Domestic Political Extremism at the November 2022 OODA Network Member Meeting
- An OODA Network Q&A Session on Domestic Political Extremism and Violence with OODA Network Member Brian Jenkins
- DARPA Research on Cryptocurrency and National Security Risks
- Global Crypto and Digital Currency Initiatives: U.S. Crypto, Digital Assets and National Security Policy
- SASC and HASC Release Text of FY23 NDAA … | U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
- China readying $143 billion package for its chip firms in face of U.S. curbs
- FY23 NDAA Agreement Executive Summary (senate.gov)
- Japan to Join US Effort to Tighten Chip Exports to China
- The [Military] Accelerationism Research Consortium
- ‘Normality Will Not Return’: OODA Network Member Brian Jenkins on Plagues and Their Aftermath
- OODA Network Member Brian Jenkins on Renewed Bioterror Concerns, but ‘No Mortal Blow’
- Analysis: China’s massive older chip tech buildup raises U.S. concern
- China starts WTO dispute against U.S. chip export curbs
- NSA Releases Series on Protecting DoD Microelectronics From Adversary Influence
- In 2022, the Federal Ecosystem for Accelerating (at Scale) Quantum Computational Power and Quantum Networks Emerged
- “The Greatest Cryptographic Migration in History”: The Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act to be Signed into Law
- President Biden Signs Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act into Law
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