OODAcast – Former CIA Officer Rob Richer on the Geopolitical Landscape, Leadership Lessons Learned, and Supporting Decision-makers
Rob Richer is a highly regarded advisor to international executives and global government leaders including several heads of state. Rob has a well informed perspective on international risks and opportunities and an ability to analyze and distill observations in a way that is meaningful for your decision making process. In this OODAcast we cover the current state of global and domestic affairs, key leadership and decision-making lessons learned derived from Rob’s extensive CIA career.
As a bonus, we talk to Rob about how the character Mitch Rapp is based upon him. Rapp is the main character in a 18 book series by the late bestselling author Vince Flynn. One of the books was also produced into the film American Assassin.
Bitcoin is the most famous crypto currency, with good reason. It was the first to leverage the new concept of a blockchain to enable a distributed, but trusted ledger, which for the first time in history allowed a cryptocurrency where double spending was impossible. Since its founding on 3 January 2009 the system has worked and proven it can scale with extreme accuracy. But what might this new store of value and distributed means of safe and secure transactions mean for your business? The models listed here can fuel your decision-making in that domain.
The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) is one of the many innovation programs that have sprung up in the past few years to create opportunities for academia and technology start-ups to help solve DoD problems. Any DoD customer can approach NSIN with a problem set and ask them to help create a network of non-traditional solution providers to look at the issues. Today, there are about 50 DoD civilians and contractors running NSIN full time, with offices in 8 universities and teaming with over 40.
This week’s OODAcast features an interview with Camila Russo, the author of the book “The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum”. Camila is also the founder of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) site The Defiant, which tracks developments, emerging trends, and news in the fast moving DeFi space.
In this interview, Camila shares how her experience covering fiat currency issues as a reporter for Bloomberg sparked her interest in Bitcoin and how she focused her attention on the Ethereum project early in its development. We discuss Camila’s book and the emergence of Ethereum as well as the most interesting applications of Ethereum, future disruptions, and the general trends driving the DeFi space.
CNO NAVPLAN 2021 was released by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), ADM GILDAY, on 11 JAN. This Navigation Plan is basically the execution plan of the Advantages at Sea Tri-Service Maritime Strategy released last month. The Navy examines their current challenges and lays out four focus priorities: readiness, capabilities, capacity and Sailors. It begins by setting a grim tone: “our collective security – and our way of life – are under threat”. It calls out China and Russia as “determined rivals” who’s flagrant disregard of international rules of conduct on the open seas indicate they will never become responsible partners. This plan supports the Naval Service’s mission to “deploy forward to defend America and our allies and protect freedom of the seas”.
Former Congressman Will Hurd joins us on this episode of OODACast to discuss what he has learned about business and entrepreneurship from a diverse career in the intelligence community, elected office and the private sector. Will has successfully leveraged the skills of a CIA operations officer in a variety of contexts, including the founding of cybersecurity firm FusionX with OODA co-founder, Matt Devost. Will most recently served in Congress as the representative for Texas’ 23rd district from 2015 to 2021.
Online ad fraud cost global brands and media companies $42 billion in 2019. Losses are projected to approach $100 billion worldwide by 2023, according to UK-based consultants Juniper Research. The integrity of the digital advertising industry has never been more in doubt. Just as the U.S. Treasury singled out fraud as the leading predicate crime for money laundering in its 2018 National Money Laundering Risk Assessment, proceeds from ad fraud are also reintegrated and rinsed via non-transparent, $336-billion digital media supply chains.
Noted cybersecurity expert Mike Tanji provides context on what to expect from the cybersecurity actions and policies of the Biden Administration. His insights are based on thirty years in the field. He cautions us all to maintain a level of hope, but to not get too worked up about transitions and talk of change. Everyone is all talk until they sit down in the chair and begin to understand exactly what it takes to govern. That said, there are changes that can be expected. Here are a few signals to watch for to see if they will stick.
Last month, the Secretary of the Navy released an interesting and informative document called “ADVANTAGE at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power”. This strategy is aligned with the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concepts discussed in separate OODA posts, and it combines the interests and intentions of all three Service Chiefs (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) to work together in an integrated manner to achieve “security and prosperity on the seas”.
A new Joint Threat Assessment to the Inauguration notes that the most likely threat to the Presidential Inauguration will be from domestic violent extremists. It also highlights the role of foreign influence is seeding unrest in the United States.
The assessment was prepared by the FBI, DHS, USSS, US Capitol Police(USCP), National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC ), Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region ( JFHQ-NCR ), Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) and the Northern Virginia Regional Intelligence Center (NVRIC ), Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC), and US Park Police (USPP).
A full copy of the assessment is included for OODA Members.