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Ep 13: Using Blockchain to Ensure Battle Network Integrity-Part 2 of 2

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In our previous episode, the first part of my conversation with Michael Lewellen, we discussed the basics of blockchain and how it could be used to improve the integrity of battlefield networks.

In this episode, I put Michael to the test. As he entered the studio for this recording, I handed him a 1.5 page story that was published a few months ago. It announced a second phase AFWERX SBIR award to a startup based in North Carolina named Fluree. Based solely on the limited information in the news article, I asked Michael to speculate on what AFWERX (and the Air Force) might be funding Fluree to develop. Michael had never heard of Fluree nor did he do any research during the show prior to this segment.

I did this for two reasons. First, I was interested in what he might posit as within the realm of the possible given his subject matter expertise in blockchain. Second, I wanted to demonstrate - without any coaching or preparation - what can happen if a commercial developer is presented a
military use case in terms they can understand. America has many bright and capable commercial innovators. But if the needs of the military aren’t explained in ways that are understandable to the commercial sector, few commercial firms will respond to the invitations to innovate for the military.

Email:
mark@commercebasix.com and michael@tarski.tech

Original music by Josh Goode Music: joshgoode1@mac.com

Ep 12: Using Blockchain to Ensure Battle Network Integrity-Part 1 of 2

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This is the first episode taken from my conversation with Michael Lewellen, a subject matter expert on blockchain technology. Michael is the president of Tarski Technologies, and a guest lecturer at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The key driver of the Pentagon’s many efforts to harness commercial innovation for its military systems is the growing threat from China. Christian Brose, a former senior staff member of the Senate Arms Services Committee, writes in his book “The Kill Chain,” that “China has devised strategies not to beat America at its own game but to play a different game—to win by denying the US military the opportunity to project power, fight in its traditional ways, and achieve its goals. China has rapidly developed arsenals of advanced weapons intended to break apart US battle networks, destroy the US military’s traditional platforms, and shatter its ability to close the kill chain. ”

A battle network can be broken apart in many ways. But one of the more effective and nefarious methods is to exploit weaknesses relating to the identity of the participants in the network so that a bad actor can masquerade as a good actor. One technique for attenuating this class of attack is to integrate blockchain technology within the battle network.

In this first episode of a two episode series, Michael and I discuss what blockchain is, some of its commercial use cases, and its potential value for ensuring the integrity of battlefield communications.

In the second episode, we speculate on how the Air Force may be planning on using blockchain technology, based on the recent announcement of a SBIR contract in June of 2020.

Participant emails: mark@commercebasix.com and michael@tarski.tech

Original music by Josh Goode Music. Email: joshgoode1@mac.com
November 2020
October 2020
October 2019