ISP Brief June 2021

Dear Colleagues,

It's my pleasure to send you the June 2021 edition of the ISP Brief, the monthly newsletter of the CSIS International Security Program. The ISP Brief features CSIS reports and analysis written by our scholars and includes externally published articles, media highlights such as video interviews and podcasts, and links to recent and upcoming virtual events.

I welcome your feedback on this newsletter and its contents at I also invite you to follow us on TwitterLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook for the very latest on ISP's work. 

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Seth G. Jones
Senior Vice President
Harold Brown Chair Director | International Security Program
CSIS | Center for Strategic and International Studies
1616 Rhode Island Ave, NW | Washington, DC 20036


SERIES: Examining Extremism

Extremist movements around the world continue to pose a threat to citizens, governments, and civil society. The Examining Extremism series from the Transnational Threats Project breaks down the latest data trends on attacks and plots, provides background on key actors and ideologies, and assesses the threat posed by extremists in the United States and globally.

Read Examining Extremism: The Boogaloo Movement
by Jared Thompson

Read Examining Extremism: Antifa
by Dr. Seth G. Jones and Catrina Doxsee

Read Examining Extremism: The Oath Keepers 
by Eric McQueen

Read Examining Extremism: QAnon
by James Suber and Jacob Ware


EVENT: Geopolitical Implications of Scientific Innovation Trends in Northeast Asia

The CSIS International Security Program and the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies held a joint discussion on the implications of scientific innovations and emerging technologies on geopolitics in Northeast Asia.


REPORT: Geopolitical Implications of Scientific Innovation Trends in Northeast Asia

Accompanying the event on Geopolitical Implications of Scientific Innovation Trends in Northeast Asia, Gregory SandersAndrew P. HunterLindsey R. SheppardDr. Seth G. JonesPark In-kookHong Kyu-DokKim Jina, and Lee Geunwookexamined the implications of scientific innovations and emerging technologies on geopolitics in Northeast Asia in a report. They focus on five areas: (1) data-driven techniques and software-intensive technologies, (2) advanced materials and supply chains, (3) cybersecurity, (4) uncrewed systems and robotics, and (5) space technologies, including satellites and missiles.


REPORT: Reading the Nuclear Tea Leaves: Policy and Posture in the Biden Administration

The nuclear policy community is once again in the grips of pervasive anxiety that U.S. nuclear policy—encompassing force modernization decisions, declaratory policy, and perceptions of adversary nuclear threat and risk—is either about to dramatically change or fail to change as dramatically as it should. Rebecca Hersman and Joseph Rodgers read the nuclear tea leaves and analyzed the Biden administration's posture on the issues.


EVENT: Hypersonic Strike and Defense

On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Missile Defense Project's Dr. Tom Karako hosted Mike White, Principal Director for Hypersonics in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering OUSD(R&E). The pair discussed the programmatic and budgetary implications of both hypersonic strike and defense. An industry panel followed featuring Erin Kocourek, Doug Graham, and Lisa Brown. Read the transcript with Mike White here.



New Podcast


Introducing Tech Unmanned, a new podcast hosted by Lindsey Sheppard and Kaitlyn Johnson, with new episodes released every other Tuesday. Technology is at the heart of almost every defense issue and modernization priority for the United States defense enterprise. Tech Unmanned features guests with both policy expertise and technical expertise in order to break through the national security jargon and technology hand-waving to get to the core of the technical realities of these emerging capabilities, benefits to development, and the barriers to success.

Listen on CSISApple and Spotify.

The AIs that Bind: It’s All About the Process

In their first episode, Lindsey and Kaitlyn are joined by Devaki Raj, CEO and Co-founder of CrowdAI, and Kristen Sproat, Principal at BCG and Marine Corps Reservist, for a discussion on artificial intelligence and machine learning in the Department of Defense. 

Listen on CSIS, Apple and Spotify.



Does Iran actually want to rejoin the Nuclear Deal? by Eric Brewer and Henry Rome

Writer’s Block? Find a Coach by Colonel Tobias Switzer and Catherine Putz

Achieving an Additive Manufacturing Breakthrough by Andrew Hunter, Asya Akca, and Emma Bates

Covid-19 Response Update: June 4-June 18 by William Healzer, Adam Saxton, and Mark Cancian

The Nuclear Proliferation Landscape: Is Past Prologue? by Eric Brewer

The First U.S. National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism by Jake Harrington and Catrina Doxsee

Iran’s missile program: Two problems, not one by John Krzyzaniak

The Five Surprises In Pentagon’s 2022 Budget by Mark Cancian

Covid-19 Response Update: May 21-June 4 by William Healzer, Adam Saxton, and Mark Cancian

Sing, Missile Muse, of Gods and Heroes: America's Most Fearsome Weapons Need Better Names by Dr. Tom Karako

FY 2022 Missile Defense and Defeat Budget Tracker by Wes Rumbaugh

Holding Moscow Accountable for its Criminal Networks by Emily Harding


Dr. Tom Karako spoke at AUSA's Thought Leaders on the Army's role in the Indo Pacific.


Suzanne Spaulding spoke at a Civics Forward event with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation where she discussed civics as a national security imperative.


Mark Cancian joined WWL First News with Tommy Tucker where he discussed climate change and the military.


Carolina Ramos moderated a Florida International University's panel on blockchain for all. The panel discussed crypto's role in financial literacy and careers.


Jake Harrington spoke on the BBC Business Weekly podcast about how the FBI used a messaging company to catch crooks.


Mark Cancian talked about surprises in the Biden administration's FY22 defense budget on Government Matters.


Kaitlyn Johnson joined a Secure World Foundation panel at their Summit for Space Sustainability 2021. She discussed the Space Force's prime directive.


Todd Harrison discussed the new defense budget request on Government Matters.


Emily Harding discussed the JBS cyberattack on Spectrum News NY 1.


Suzanne Spaulding appeared on MSNBC's MTP Daily with Chuck Todd where she discussed how American businesses need to plan cyberattack defense.


Emily Harding joined the War on the Rocks the Warcast podcast for an episode about spying on allies. Available only to War on the Rocks members.


Dr. Robert Soofer testified before the U.S. Senate Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee on missile defense strategy, policies, and programs.


John Schaus joined the Policy, Guns, & Money: The ASPI Podcast, where he explored the concept of asymmetric power and deterrence with Anastasia Kapetas.


Colonel Tobias Switzer discussed aviation advising missions in Iraq/Afghanistan as a part of the Air University Research Showcase with Dr. Carla Martinez Machain.



Tackling Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy
Featuring: Dr. Rachel Levine

Listen on Apple and Spotify.

Investing in Good with Jean Case, CEO of the Case Impact Network
Featuring: Jean Case

Listen on Apple and Spotify.


PONI Mid-Career Cadre
DEADLINE: Applications are open until Friday, July 2, 2021.

APPLY The U.S. Legacy in Afghanistan: Past, Present, and Future
Featuring: Carter Malkasian and Gina Bennett
Moderated by: Dr. Seth G. Jones

Wednesday, July 7, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET

COMING SOON DAY ONE: PONI 2021 Summer Conference
Featuring: Eric Brewer, Amelia Morgan, Anna Wagner, and Evan Lisman.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. ET

REGISTER DAY TWO: PONI 2021 Summer Conference
Featuring: Eric Brewer, Masao Dahlgren, Dustin Granger, Emilyn Tuomala, Samuel R. Baty, Dr. Cameron Bates, Jaejoon Kim, and Sang-Min Kim

Wednesday, July 14, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. ET



Space Race in the 21st Century: Understanding Russia’s Evolving Military Capabilities
Featuring: Colonel Douglas Loverro, General C. Robert Kehler, Victoria Samson
Co-moderated by: Heather A. Conley and Kaitlyn Johnson


MDA and the 2022 Budget
Featuring: Vice Admiral Jon Hill
Hosted by: Dr. Tom Karako


Opening Doors: A Conversation with Simone Williams and Astrid Price
Featuring: Simone Williams
Hosted by: Astrid Price


Investing in Good: A Conversation with Jean Case, CEO of the Case Impact Network
Featuring: Jean Case
Hosted by: Beverly Kirk



Emily Harding told Politico, “The IC really likes to operate in the shadows and if the president announces that he’s tasked a paper then the next thing that happens is the IC goes back out and pings all of its sources and you generally don’t want to alert the fact that you’re doing that,” on June 15, 2021.

“It seems like their language in talking about MILCON has shifted to use the word infrastructure a lot more,” Todd Harrison said in Air Force Magazine on June 8, 2021. “And I can’t help but wonder if that is a reflection of the priorities of the administration, that they want to be seen as focusing on infrastructure.”

On June 7, 2021, Ian Williams was quoted in Business Insider where he said, "There are a lot of efficiencies that can be gained by integrating strike and defense, particularly in sensors, to detect enemy missiles and to locate and neutralize the shooter."