The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast

23. Disinformation, Revisionism, and China with Doowan Lee

The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast
23. Disinformation, Revisionism, and China with Doowan Lee

Today’s episode of “The Convergencepodcast features a conversation with Mr. Doowan Lee, Senior Director from Zignal Labs.  Mr. Lee is a National Security expert in influence intelligence, disinformation analysis, data analytics, network visualization, and great power competition. Before joining Zignal Labs, Mr. Lee served as a professor and principal investigator at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he executed federally funded projects on collaborative information systems, network analysis, and disinformation analysis. His article, entitled The United States Isn’t Doomed to Lose the Information Wars, explores Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns and was featured in Foreign Policy last month.

The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview with Mr. Lee:

  • Our adversaries see disinformation as just an effective tool that provides strategic and global reach. We see it as irregular warfare when it is anything but irregular.
  • Disinformation, or the historical term propaganda, has been around forever.  COVID-19 has accentuated this threat vector or surface.
  • The Chinese government outlined their national information operations policy in “The Communiqué on the Current State of the Ideological Sphere” (also known as Document #9):

–    Nations talking about the spread of open societies are attempting to undermine the CCP.

-     The CCP will maintain positive control of all media.

-    The CCP will professionalize information operations.

This policy resulted in the development of the “Great Firewall,” the “Golden Shield“ project, and the PLA’s Strategic Support Forces.

  • The CCP and the Kremlin are increasing their coordination on national security activities and, in some cases, are increasing their collaboration. This resulted in a recent joint statement that stated the two governments would work together to undermine disinformation that seeks to destabilize the Russian and Chinese governments.
  • How is our Great Competition strategy working to prevent Chinese and Russian collaboration?
  • Slaughtering the “Golden Calf”
  • Information Operations are not irregular DROP THE ADJECTIVE! There is nothing irregular about these operations and they are probably the most regular or everyday form of competition we face.


  • Embrace our doctrine. We are not using our tools such as international or bilateral exercises for advantage, while our adversaries are using these exercises, oftentimes in the same contested space, to their information advantage.
  • Stop trying to make perfect decisions. Instead, work to perfect decision making using rapid experimentation, learning, and implementation.
  • When engaging the younger generations, we need to discuss data and civil liberties, the philosophy of science or acquiring knowledge, ethics, and critical thinking.
  • What keeps me up at night? Technologies that create strategic latency between offense and defense. Deep fakes is one of these technologies. It has a high first mover advantage and identification tools do not prevent them from getting into the “wild” and impacting our society.

Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next podcast with three panelists from the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC)Ms. Jacqueline Tame, Acting Deputy Director, Chief Performance Officer; Ms. Alka Patel, Head of AI Ethics Policy; and Dr. Jane Pinelis, Chief, Testing and Evaluation, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) — as we discuss the ethics of AI and ML, integrating these emerging technologies into the Joint Force, and the future of talent management in this space on 3 December 2020!

Brought to you by The Army Mad Scientist Initiative of The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast