Diane DiEuliis, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Fellow of the National Defense University. Her research areas focus on emerging biological technologies, biodefense, and preparedness for biothreats. Specific topic areas within her research portfolio include dual-use life sciences research, synthetic biology, the US bio-economy, disaster recovery, and behavioral, cognitive, and social science as related to important aspects of deterrence and preparedness. Dr. DiEuliis currently has several research grants in progress, and guest lectures in a variety of foundational professional military education courses.
Over the past decade, China’s increasing activities in media and industrial acquisition, soft power messaging, development, and exploitation of international laws has made it starkly apparent that the U.S. is engaged in an innovative form of multi-dimensional competition. China’s commitment to the scientific and technological (S&T) enterprises as specific components of current and future Five-Year Plans emphasize an increasing reliance on—and investment in—convergent S&T approaches (e.g., cyber, nano, media, and economic) to effect dominance on the world stage. This use of multiple technological pathways, coupled with pre-bellicose, non-kinetic actions and subtle yet potent influence operations demonstrates a strategic paradigm to threaten, if not suppress, U.S. global power. During 2018, the Department of Defense (DoD) pressed forward on garnering both internal and external expertise to increase technology-focused efforts necessary to inform policy, acquisitions, and security strategy. Over the past four years, the authors were tasked by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Donovan Group and the SOFWERX Innovation Center at United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with studying the use and advantages of current and emerging technologies (ETs) by near-peer adversaries. Toward that end, an exploration of these non-kinetic, technology-enabled engagements was conducted by the group to best define the current evolution in tactics and strategy challenging U.S. national security.