National Security Reporter JJ Green discussed his award-winning report “National Security in Threatening Times” on December 11, 2018 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Reporting daily for WTOP, Green focuses on international security, intelligence, foreign policy, terrorism and cyber developments, and provides regular on-air analysis. He hosts the weekly podcast, ‘Target USA’, which examines the threats facing U.S. He also hosts the weekly broadcast program “The Hunt,” and conducts in-depth interviews with experts on ISIS, al-Qaida, the Taliban and other emerging terror threats.
Joe Calvaruso, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Executive Director, introduced JJ Green and highlighted his 2017 Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense, an award he was presented with at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Annual Dinner in Washington, D.C. in June 2018.
The presentation included JJ Green’s Journalism Prize winning two-minute report; Green created the clip with photos synced to his radio report, along with quotes from various leaders in the national intelligence and cyber community.
Green began his remarks painting a picture of the turbulent updates that impact our national security including: Russian military offense actions in Ukraine and Venezuela; a reporter was killed, and as noted by the CIA, was ordered by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia; Chinese Intelligence Agencies have infected millions of devices in the United States with malware which tracks every move and key-stroke, experts also state that 1 in 131 emails has malware in it; North Korea has developed a nuclear-powered missile capable of reaching the United States; and the Syrian government has killed hundreds and thousands of its own citizens, including doing so with chemical weapons.
Stating that these and other examples he provides are stories “that do frame our times but they do not define it”, Green believes all of his examples are affected by one singular phenomenon. When interviewing General Ron Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Green heard from Gen. Burgess how one of the greatest threats to U.S. National Security was the pace of change. Using Moore’s Law as a basis, technology has rapidly advanced and dramatically become less expensive allowing for all populations to acquire those goods.
This theory has two critical elements that impacts National Security: first, technological advances have allowed for an ever-increasing ability to acquire devices, software, and programs to tap into the growing amounts of data, news, and information; but second, the same devices, software, and programs used by consumers is readily available to those that wish to do the harm to the United States and citizens anywhere, anytime.
Green furthers his point that cyber-attacks are being initiated by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran as a form of warfare and statecraft to achieve strategic objectives. These countries, and others, will continue to test U.S. cyber defenses unless checked. Green gave insights into Russia’s modern cyber-attacks on the U.S., with one example having started in the early 1990’s and culminating in the 2016 Presidential Election. He also goes into detail discussing the Russian government-backed misinformation agency aimed at impacting not only U.S. elections, but social media and news reporting across the country.
Green concluded his presentation answering questions from the audience.