Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Think Tank Report Sparked China Spy Concerns

It was just reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been hacking into the networks of Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant.  And concerns about Huawei stem from an unlikely source - a think tank.

Here is more from The New York Times:
Washington’s concerns about Huawei date back nearly a decade, since the RAND Corporation, the research organization, evaluated the potential threat of China for the American military. RAND concluded that “private Chinese companies such as Huawei” were part of a new “digital triangle” of companies, institutes and government agencies that worked together secretly.

The newspaper notes that the Air Force hired the RAND Corporation in 2005 to examine threats from Chinese networking firms.  That report noted that Huawei had "deep ties" with the Chinese military.

Here is a full copy of the RAND report published September 19, 2005, which is titled, "A New Direction for China's Defense Industry."  The report is part of a larger RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) study on Chinese military modernization.  PAF was established in 1946 by General H.H. "Hap" Arnold.

That report was written by Evan Medeiros, Roger Cliff, Keith Crane, and James Mulvenon.  Mr. Medeiros in now Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC).  Roger Cliff, among other things, is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Asia Security Initiative at Atlantic Council.  Keith Crane is Director of the RAND Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program.  James Mulvenon is Vice President for Intelligence at Defense Group Inc. (DGI).

Here is a link to some of RAND's more recent writings on China.

In fiscal year 2013, RAND received $36.5 million from the US Air Force.  In addition, it received $52.3 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and related agencies, and $63 million from the US Secretary of Defense and other national security agencies.  RAND received $33.1 million from the US Army.  It also received funding from other federal agencies, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, universities, foundations, and state/local governments.

RAND currently has a staff of 1,700 in 43 countries who speak 59 languages.  Sixty-seven (67) percent of RAND's research staff hold Ph.D.'s.

RAND was just ranked as the 8th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was ranked as the 4th best think tank in the United States, after Brookings (#1), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (#2), and Center for Strategic and International Studies (#3).