This page serves as a dynamic resource for OODA Network members looking for insights into the geopolitical dynamics driving global risks. This collection of resources includes content produced exclusively for OODA members as well as a continually updated list of insights from our daily pulse report. If you would like to recommend a resource for this page, please email us at email@example.com
This post provides insights into what the C-Suite needs to know about the rise of great power competition, based largely on a recently released report by the policy and legal research agency of the United States Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), titled Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress. For more see: What the C-Suite needs to know about a Return to “Great Power Competition”
The US Government released a statement jointly produced by the Department of State, Department of Treasury, Department of Commerce and Department of Homeland Security on the topic of business risks associated with operating in Hong Kong. If any single agency released a memo on a topic like this it would be important. With all four teaming to produce this it is a clear signal that this advisory should be read and understood by any company doing business in or with Hong Kong. For more see: What The C-Suite Needs To Know About The USG Advisory on Risks and Considerations for Businesses Operating in Hong Kong
The business environment in China has changed over the last year. Changes in China’s behaviors include new approaches to diplomacy, new aggressive moves by the Chinese military, new compliance requirements for companies seeking to do business with China, and increased punishment of corporations that are seen to be behaving in ways not supportive of China’s strategic objectives. Cyber threats emanating from China have also continued to evolve, with criminal groups and national level intelligence agencies all leveraging increasing capabilities to gain unauthorized access to data meant to be protected. Meanwhile, many legal, but unfair trading practices are contributing to the rapid rise of China’s economic power and shifting global markets.
Beijing appears to be engaging in political warfare where it is attempting to fester animosity between foreign governments that show favor to Taiwan, a threat to the long-standing policy of “One Country, Two Systems” with regard to the island. In a recent instance, a fake announcement appeared to be from Taiwan’s Presidential Office on Facebook that asserted that the Taiwanese government intended to accept contaminated wastewater from a Japanese nuclear power plant. A second incident occurred in December 2020 when Taiwanese authorities investigated two Taiwanese with ties to Chinese mainland spreading a similar fake Presidential Office announcement that alleged U.S. and Taiwanese in involvement in protests in Thailand.
Something is different in the geopolitical situation today. The reasons are probably a combination of factors that include the pandemic, the rise of the global grid of cyberspace, plus the payoff of years of planning and strategic moves by our adversaries. But whatever the reasons, the world today is more complicated and more dangerous than the world of just a year ago, and in many cases the risks being faced by open societies have never been seen before. The changes are so significant, OODA recommends all business leaders take stock of the geopolitical situation and assess how the nature of these changes should impact your business strategy.
“The world is a more dangerous and complicated place than it was just a year ago. Your corporate strategy and defensive posture needs to reflect that”
In an article entitled “The international environment and countermeasures of network governance during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period” by Xu Xiujun (徐秀军) in the February 27, 2021 edition of China Information Security, we see the continuation of China’s concerns over Weaponized Interdependence and China’s desire to shape a global technology and economic environment that is less influenced by Western power. Xiujun identifies concerns in several interconnected areas including cybersecurity, economic centralization, and advancement in technologies like AI, Quantum, and 5G.
OODA Loop Analysis
These reports provide a solid baseline that can inform your decision-making and put our daily reports into better context. Please contact us for questions or comments on any of these reports.
How Changes In China’s Approach To The World Should Change Your Strategy: The situation in China has changed over the last year (see: C-Suite Considerations Regarding Current Geopolitical Tensions). Changes in China’s behaviors include new approaches to diplomacy, new aggressive moves by the Chinese military, new compliance requirements for companies seeking to do business with China, and increased punishment of corporations that are seen to be behaving in ways not supportive of China’s strategic objectives. Cyber threats emanating from China have also continued to evolve, with criminal groups and national level intelligence agencies all leveraging increasing capabilities to gain unauthorized access to data meant to be protected. Meanwhile, many legal, but unfair trading practices are contributing to the rapid rise of China’s economic power and shifting global markets.
OODA on Corporate Intelligence in the New Age: We strongly encourage every company, large or small, to set aside dedicated time to focus on ways to improve your ability to understand the nature of the significantly changed risk environment we are all operating in today, and then assess how your organizational thinking should change. As an aid to assessing your corporate sensemaking abilities, this post summarizes OODA’s research and analysis into optimizing corporate intelligence for the modern age.
C-Suite Considerations Regarding Current Geopolitical Tensions: Something is different in the geopolitical situation today. The reasons are probably a combination of factors that include the pandemic, the rise of the global grid of cyberspace, plus the payoff of years of planning and strategic moves by our adversaries. But whatever the reasons, the world today is more complicated and more dangerous than the world of just a year ago, and in many cases the risks being faced by open societies have never been seen before. The changes are so significant, OODA recommends all business leaders take stock of the geopolitical situation and assess how the nature of these changes should impact your business strategy.
The Intelligent Enterprise Series: Special reports from OODA focused on corporate intelligence
Useful Standards For Corporate Intelligence: Based on lessons learned from the US intelligence community and corporate America
Optimizing Corporate Intelligence: Tips and best practices and actionable recommendations to make intelligence programs better.
A Practitioner’s View of Corporate Intelligence: insights aimed at corporate strategists seeking competitive advantage through better and more accurate decision-making.
An Executive’s Guide To Cognitive Bias in Decision Making: Cognitive Bias and the errors in judgement they produce are seen in every aspect of human decision-making, including in the business world. Companies that have a better understanding of these cognitive biases can optimize decision making at all levels of the organization, leading to better performance in the market.
Russia Threat Brief:
Russia should be considered a kleptocracy, where the rule of law exists as long as it supports the objectives of the state and the ruling oligarchs. All U.S. businesses should exercise extreme caution before doing business in or with Russia. Our special report on The Russian Threat captures insights on the full spectrum of Russian capabilities and intention, including their actions in cyber conflict. For more read the continuously updated Russia Threat Brief. Also, be sure to check out our special report: Russia 2020: What Will Putin Do Next? and The Kinetic Potential of Russian Cyber War, which examines Russia’s mastery of cyber and kinetic linkages, and What Kleptocratic Support for Cybercriminals Means for Russian Cyber Capabilities and Cybercriminals as the Russian State’s Deniable Proxies and The Five Most Dangerous Criminal Organizations Acting As Proxies for Russia.
China Threat Brief:
Several countries have the capability to inflict harm on U.S. interests. However, China is the only one who has declared an intent to challenge the U.S. for global supremacy. China remains a closed society where challenges to party rule are met with harsh, sole crushing response. China is a powerhouse, but one with weaknesses. The same statement carries over to military and intelligence domains. For more read the continuously updated China Threat Brief. Also see our special report on Your Strategy for This Phase of the Trade War – The short version is, stay agile! Also see our special report on What You Should Know About China’s “Destructive Warfare” Doctrine. What’s the China-Arab State Data Security Pact Really Mean?: What the C-Suite needs to know about the rise of China.
Iran Threat Brief:
Iran has been investing heavily in cyber operations and is experienced in conducting both espionage and attack. Iran is undemocratic, with power centered in a Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei). A President exists but has little power compared to the Supreme Leader. But below them is a vibrant and powerful country of over 81 million. Iranian education systems and scientific pursuits make them a technologically empowered nation that can mount surprisingly sophisticated cyber operations. Iran Threat Brief. Also see: What You Need To Know About Iranian Cyber War Capabilities and Intentions.
DPRK Threat Brief:
North Korea describes itself as a “self-reliant socialist state” but it is really best described as a Stalinist dictatorship. Leader Kim Jong-un holds power and dominates all functions through a mix of violence, rewards and intense propaganda. A common misperception about the DPRK is that they are so backwards and poor that they cannot mount a modern cyber war. But reality is that their policy of “Songun” (military first) means there are resources for capabilities considered strategic, and that includes cyber war. North Korea Threat Brief
Security In Space and Security of Space:
The last decade has seen an incredible increase in the commercial use of space. Businesses and individual consumers now leverage space solutions that are so integrated into our systems that they seem invisible. Some of these services include: Communications, including very high-speed low latency communications to distant and mobile users. Learn more at: OODA Research Report: What Business Needs To Know About Security In Space Also see: Is Space Critical Infrastructure, and the special report on Cyber Threats to Project Artemis, and Mitigating Threats To Commercial Space Satellites
Attacks Against Faith-Based Communities:
In a Joint Intelligence Bulletin issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation the threat of terrorist attacks against faith-based communities and soft targets amid religious holidays is discussed. OODA captures more detail and as always provides input that can help drive your actions. Read more at: DHS/FBI Warn of Attacks Against Faith-Based Communities and Soft Targets Amid Religious Holidays