CNA’s experts understand today’s complex and dynamic national security environments. On CNA Talks, you’ll find analysis of globe-shaping conflicts, foreign policy and shifting alliances, regional breakdowns, pandemics and other health crises, environmental disasters, homeland security concerns, and the future of strategic competition. Follow CNA Talks to go behind the headlines and learn from data-driven, objective, discussions on the factors shaping today’s national security landscape.
Afghanistan: The Taliban, ISIS-K and Al Qaeda
It’s been just over a year since the Taliban seized control of Kabul and established themselves as the government of Afghanistan. What has changed in Afghanistan in that time and what is the status of the major factions in the country?
CNA’s Jonathan Schroden is joined by three experts on militant groups in Afghanistan, they discuss the status of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS-K in Afghanistan and the relationships between these groups.
Jonathan Schroden is the director of CNA’s Counter Threats and Challenges Program.
Amira Jadoon is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Clemson University. Previously she worked at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
Asfandyar Mir is a senior expert in the Asia Center at USIP. His research interests include the international relations of South Asia, U.S. counterterrorism policy and political violence — with a regional focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Andrew Watkins is a senior expert on Afghanistan for the U.S. Institute of Peace. He joined after serving as the senior analyst on Afghanistan for the International Crisis Group, where he published in-depth reports and analytical commentary on the country’s conflict and efforts to initiate a peaceful settlement.
What's Next for Sri Lanka?
In July, the eyes of the world were fixed on Sri Lanka, when protesters stormed the Presidential Palace, demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. But while the headlines have since faded, the story is far from over.
In this episode of CNA Talks, Nilanthi Samaranayake stops by to fill us in on what has happened in Sri Lanka since the protests and how the new President can address the crisis.
Nilanthi Samaranayake (@nilanthis) directs CNA's Strategy and Policy Analysis Program, her recent analysis of Sri Lanka has been published in Newsweek and Lawfare.
Newsweek: China's Not to Blame for All of Sri Lanka's Woes
Lawfare: How Has Sri Lanka’s Crisis Impacted Indian Ocean Security?
The Race for Autonomy: David Broyles on Getting Autonomy to Work for Defense
This content was originally published on BMNT's YouTube Channel. You can find the original video here.
In this follow-up conversation to BMNT’s June panel "The Race for Autonomy: Navigating a New Battlefield," A'ndre Gonawela talks to Dr. David Broyles, Research Program Director at the Center for Naval Analysis and co-host of "AI with AI", on the challenges facing the Department of Defense when it comes to developing and leveraging autonomous systems and capabilities. Dr. Broyles digs into why he (like our prior panelists) believes the state of autonomy today is ‘brittle’, and why the end goal for many is ‘general AI’ – the ability for artificial intelligence to behave and adapt like human intelligence can. We discuss Dr. Broyles’ belief that an ‘AI Winter’ may be approaching, where momentum in the development of systems is slowed or even halted. We then dig into where the Department of Defense is on the racetrack, dissecting the lingering confusion that underlies the differences between unmanned systems and autonomous systems, and how we can better equip DoD leaders in understanding how autonomous systems can operate. Dr. Broyles highlights opportunities to build trust in autonomous systems with the warfighter, in addition to addressing the edge cases and ‘fat tails’ that can impede the success of autonomous vehicles.
You can read about our first panel here: https://www.bmnt.com/post/the-race-for-autonomy-is-here
Notes from Episode
General consensus of state of autonomy is that it is brittle, and still in infancy when it comes to DoD Bigger debate in AI community – end state is general AI, equivalent to human intelligence, adaptable to environment, and process things like a human can. What are the tools to go about this? Two camps that disagree with each other: Neural network reward: Can employ larger neural networks, dump more data, put more processing power, and have reward schemes. Symbolic logic camps – need ways to encode information in symbols that machines can manipulate at higher levels of aggregation. Still trying to figure out the things we really need to make these things work and get rid of the bugs. AI Winter? There have been periods where the momentum in AI development stopped – last one in early 2000s, influenced by availability of graphical processing capabilities (large computational power being dumped on the problem) Are we coming to the limits of the tools and capabilities we’ve developed? Margins of incremental improvements are diminishing. AVs are a bellwether of progress – if progress isn’t delivered in tangible ways, market could lose interest, meaning less financial investment. AI Summer? Alexnet winning image recognition competition in 2014 was first real success of neural networks, motivated community at large, many developments between 2014 through 2019. People were trying many different tools. Where’s DOD with developing/leveraging autonomous systems? It’s hard to pinpoint where they are on the racetrack. Confusion between unmanned and autonomous systems – can be communicated unclearly, sometimes unmanned systems are mistakenly attributed as autonomous when they aren’t. First major step is for DoD to employ more unmanned systems – it’s been slow, but CNO actually incorporating uncrewed systems into their force structure direction is a significant step. Lots of little things here and there are going on but there’s nothing being coordinate in a big way. CDAO (Chief Digital AI Office, former JAIC), is trying to play a role here but there’s more ways in which they can step in. Ensuring trust for warfighters? You can either not have enough trust, or you can overtrust, and the latter gets less attention – the example here is Tesla’s autopilot system being overtrusted and then getting involved in deadly crashes. Need to get autonomous systems into the hands of the warfighters – biggest priority. Need to communicate the capab
New Tools for a New Navy
As the Navy transitions to the new Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy increased demand will be placed on its detailers. In today’s episode, we discuss a new tool from CNA which could help expedite the assignment process and help detailers execute their mission.
Warren Sutton is a Senior Research Scientist in CNA’s Navy Human Resources Program.
Navy Enlisted Detailing Marketplace Assignment Algorithm
The Most Challenging Recruiting Year on Record?
Every branch of the military is struggling to meet its fiscal year 2022 recruiting goals. Marine General David Ottignon recently told Congress that 2022 is “arguably the most challenging recruiting year since the inception of the all-volunteer force.”
In this episode, we explore what is driving these challenges and how the military can adapt its recruiting strategizes to the modern media environment.
Elizabeth Clelan is a Principal Research Scientist in CNA’s Marine Corps and Defense Workforce Program.
Heather Wolters is a Senior Research Scientist in CNA’s Marine Corps and Defense Workforce Program.
Jared Huff is a Principal Research Scientist in CNA’s Navy Human Resources Program.
Strategy, Policy and Analysis Program
Rebroadcast: Getting Disaster Aid Where It’s Needed Most
This week we are bringing you a rebroadcast of Episode 108, to coincide with CNA's recent case study on the same topic.
As climate change increases the frequency and impact of natural disasters, the consequences of these events are not felt evenly. While disasters are devastating for everyone, they are exponentially worse for already vulnerable populations.
In this episode of CNA Talks, CNA’s Angie De Groot sits down with Jason Biermann and Jody Ferguson, emergency management professionals from the Pudget Sound region, in Washington. They discuss an innovative approach that priorities getting aid to their most vulnerable citizens, with the help of their private sector partners.
A Case Study in Supply Chain Resilience Private-public Collaboration To Facilitate Flows: The Experience of Puget Sound Early in the Pandemic