Cyberwarfare the Focus of New Institute at Rhode Island Naval War College

The institute will host leaders in national and international policy to answer cyber questions involving naval strategies.

by G. Wayne Miller, The Providence Journal / September 17, 2018
Shutterstock

(TNS) — NEWPORT, R.I. — The ever-increasing threat of disruption and destruction from cyberwarfare has prompted the Naval War College to establish a new institute devoted to the study, research and gaming of this 21st-century weaponry.

The Adm. James R. Hogg Cyber and Innovation Policy Institute will replace and build upon the previous work of the college's Center for Cyber Conflict Studies.

College president Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley said the name of the new institute and its expanded mission serve two purposes:

"First, we are recognizing the exceptional contributions of retired Adm. James Hogg and the lasting impact he has had, continues to have and will continue to have on both the Navy and here at the Naval War College. Second, we are recognizing the critical importance of cyber and the need to stay at the cutting edge of research, education, and fleet support at the Naval War College on cyber and military innovation issues."

According to the college, Peter Dombrowski, who formerly chaired the institution's Strategic Research Department, will be the interim institute director while a search is conducted for the first permanent director. Meanwhile, Chris Demchak, founding director of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies, will continue as a professor of cybersecurity and will be the senior cyber scholar at the new institute.

Other principals include associate professor Nina A. Kollars, who also is a non-resident fellow at West Point's Modern War Institute, and assistant professor Jacquelyn Schneider, an Air Force intelligence veteran and political psychologist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and War on the Rocks, a popular defense-policy publication.

What differentiates the new institute from others of its kind, Schneider told The Journal, "is first and foremost, the ability to answer cyber questions about the maritime domain in modern warfare. We can do that at the operational and strategic level and have the capability to answer both unclassified questions at the highest policy levels as well as the classified needs of top Navy consumers."

Schneider said the college's long history of war-gaming will be important.

"We will be bringing together the leaders of national and international policy to play games on questions ranging from the impact of cyber operations on nuclear stability, to examining responses to cyber campaigns against the financial sector, to exploring the impact that cyber operations play in maritime warfare," she said. "And we will do it in the same building where Naval War College students and innovators gamed the campaigns of the Pacific prior to World War II."

Schnieder added that the hiring of Kollars, "an expert on innovation as well as white-hat hacking communities," will help with the objectives of "manpower reform, public-private sector collaboration, and institutional adaptation to cyber threats."

Tom Culora, dean of the college's Center for Naval Warfare Studies, said the new institute "will contribute to the baseline of knowledge of cyber-related issues to enhance professional military education and improve the warfighters' understanding of the cyber domain."

Hogg, retried from active service, is now a senior adviser to the Naval War College. His commitment to the Navy totals more than 55 years.

"I'm humbled by this recognition," said Hogg, adding that he is "confident this institute will serve the college and the Navy well."

©2018 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.