Defense Policy Board to discuss possible Chinese attacks on U.S. defense infrastructure

By Georgina DiNardo / February 27, 2024 at 1:24 PM

The Defense Policy Board will hold two closed meetings on March 5 and 6 to discuss classified information pertaining to how the nation's Defense Critical Infrastructure would be affected by an attack from China, according to a notice published in the Federal Register today.

Sasha Baker, acting under secretary of defense for policy, and Madeline Mortelmans, acting assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, are scheduled to provide the board with a strategic overview.

Thomas Sisk, defense intelligence officer for China, will then discuss what challenges China poses to the DCI and U.S. homeland. Teresa Whelan, director of defense intelligence collections and special programs, and Lauren Murphy, from the office of cost assessment and program evaluation, will lay out the potential impacts of a possible Chinese attack.

Rebecca Zimmerman, who is performing the duties of the assistant defense secretary for homeland defense and hemispheric affairs, is also slated to brief the group.

Then Zimmerman, with help from Caitlin Durkovich, special assistant to the president and deputy homeland security advisor for resilience and response on the national security council, and Iranga Kahangama, assistant secretary for cyber, infrastructure, risk and resilience at the Homeland Security Department, will speak about interagency views on China’s wartime threat to DCI.

Gen. Gregory Guillot, commander of U.S. Northern Command, and Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, will both discuss how their commands view the challenge.

Discussion will continue March 6 with the board scheduled to provide its recommendations to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in the future.