The Hogan Lovells National Security Podcast

Episode 22 | European Defense Strategy and Global Security Implications


Returning after our long winter break, in this episode (recorded on NATO’s 75th Anniversary) we are joined by our colleague Falk Schoening from our Brussels office to discuss the European Union's (EU) € 1.5 billion plan to boost defense production and the release of the EU’s first-ever defense industrial strategy. We highlight the EU's transition towards addressing security challenges collaboratively, and the significance of the EU defense strategy as a departure from previous civil-centric approaches. We explore cross-border procurement challenges and efforts to streamline regulations and foster collaboration to enhance defense industrial capabilities among EU members. We also talk about capital flows into Europe and increasing investment in defense companies after years of underinvestment at a time when current security threats are generating a greater sense of urgency. The conversation extends to Europe's role in supporting Ukraine amidst geopolitical tensions, including Germany's supply effort. We touch upon Europe's perspective on US-China tensions and the implications for EU-China relations. Finally, we discuss Europe’s preparedness for potential U.S. policy shifts ahead of this year's U.S. election.

In this age of rapid technological advances, having a dedicated team of lawyers help navigate the challenges and threats of national security is crucial. At Hogan Lovells, national security is baked into virtually all practice areas and industries, from clothing affected by the Uyghur forced labor bill, or the myriad impacts of the Ukraine war, or political conditions in a country of importance to a client. This podcast will provide an overview of key developments as well as informative segments on issues that are affecting the day-to-day goals of businesses and organizations.

Previous episodes

Episode 21 | US-China Relations and the Global Economy

In this episode, we are joined by our colleague Ben Kostrzewa from our Hong Kong office, who brings extensive experience in navigating the complex landscape of U.S.-China trade relations, export control, sanctions, and investment restrictions. We discuss President Biden's recent bilateral meetings with Xi Jinping in San Francisco, signaling prospects for future discussions, albeit with lingering concerns over potential conflict triggers. We also delve into China's economic setbacks post-COVID, including a notable downturn after decades of consistent growth, and we look at Hong Kong's evolving role within China's economy and highlight Hong Kong’s enduring advantages for businesses operating in the region. Finally, we look ahead to 2024, where we consider Taiwan's January presidential election and China's economic trajectory as potential challenges for the future.

The recent Biden – Xi meetings were held at the same time as the APEC and IPEF forums in San Francisco. See our related episode with Kelly Ann Shaw on APEC/IPEF here.

Episode 20 | US Reactions to APEC and IEPF Summits

In this episode, we are joined by our colleague Kelly Ann Shaw to discuss reactions to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) forums recently held in San Francisco. Kelly Ann shares her own experiences as the lead U.S. negotiator for APEC during the Trump administration, and we share insights into the complexities of trade negotiations, geopolitical dynamics, and the challenges faced by the Biden administration in the context of APEC and IPEF.

See our prior episode with Kelly Ann here.

Episode 19 | U.S. Expanded Export Controls on Semiconductors

We are joined by our colleague Ajay Kuntamukkala  on this one-year anniversary of the October 2022 semiconductor export control rules to discuss two new interim final rules (IFRs) by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) aimed at closing perceived loopholes in the 2022 restrictions. The first IFR covers restrictions on advanced computing items and supercomputers (available here), and the second IFR covers restrictions on semiconductor manufacturing equipment (available here) – both of these rules become effective on November 17, 2023.  

We unpack how these new rules amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) with new restrictions on the export, reexport or transfer (in-country) of certain semiconductor and advanced computing items to China and Macau, as well as expanding license requirements for semiconductor manufacturing equipment to additional countries. We analyze the new licensing requirements imposed on entities that may be operating worldwide but that are “headquartered in” (a term not yet defined in the EAR) certain listed countries.  

We consider the expansion of the U.S. persons rule, dive into the technical details of the new parameters (lowered thresholds) that determine restricted chips, and discuss export control harmonization among allied countries, including recent Dutch export controls issued in September. Finally, we tackle how the new rules might impact the U.S. chip industry as well as China’s own burgeoning chip industry (we also flag the recent release of the latest Huawei smart phone).    

Read more on the topic with our article US intensifies export control restrictions on semiconductor and supercomputing activities.

Episode Eighteen | Innovation and DoD Replicator Initiative

In this episode we discuss defense innovation and DoD’s announcement of the “Replicator” initiative. We explore the history of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and how its success has sparked the creation of similar offices throughout DoD. We explain efforts to overcome the “valley of death” between developing an idea and deploying a capability to the warfighter. We also touch on In-Q-Tel and other government seed capital programs, incubators, technology accelerators, challenge programs, and the Defense Innovation Marketplace.  We review Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks' announcement of “Replicator” whose goal is to field “attritable” autonomous systems at a scale of multiple thousands, in multiple domains (air, land, sea, space), within the next 18-to-24 months.  Finally we touch on similar efforts in other countries, including the NATO DIANA initiative to bring together personnel and tech startups and scientific research to solve critical defense challenges among the alliance countries.

Episode Seventeen | Telecoms and National Security

We are joined by our colleague, Charles Mathias, former Deputy Chief in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to discuss national security and the telecommunications industry. We cover cybersecurity, supply chain risks, and the overlap of the FCC Covered List (which designates entities that pose an unacceptable risk to national security) with the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Section 889 prohibitions on certain telecommunications equipment and services. We explore the FCC’s  “rip and replace” program under the Secure Networks Act. Finally, in a wide-ranging technology discussion, we discuss Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) and cybersecurity concerns, why the rollout of 5G in the United States still has a ways to go, and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications (SATCOM) network bringing connectivity to unconnected areas of the planet.

Episode Sixteen| Outbound Investment Security

In this episode of the Hogan Lovells National Security Podcast, we are joined once again by our colleagues Brian Curran and Anne Salladin to discuss the release of the long awaited Executive Order (EO) on outbound investment screening. We discuss what is covered in the EO and the related Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. Treasury that solicits input from the public on the proposed framework for the regime, including the expected timing for developing implementing regulations. Additionally, we delve into the three advanced technologies covered in the ANPRM: (1) semiconductors and microelectronics; (2) quantum computing; and (3) Artificial Intelligence.

Episode Fifteen| Information Flows and Secrecy: Where is the Chinese Foreign Minister

In this episode we discuss the strange continued disappearance from public view of Qin Gang, the Chinese Foreign Minister (FM), and former Ambassador to the United States. At the time of this recording, China announced that Mr. Qin was formerly removed as FM (although he still has not re-appeared in public), and his boss, Wang Yi, the Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), would act as FM. Mr. Qin’s disappearance was originally attributed to undefined health issues (which still remain the only official reason for his absence), but rumors have swirled that he was swept up in an anti-corruption dragnet, that Western or even Chinese intelligence services were behind his disappearance, or that this is all connected to a suspected affair with a Hong Kong based journalist. We examine the culture of secrecy in the CCP and the unsettling effect disappearances of Chinese government officials can have on international security and diplomacy and also compare and contrast other countries approaches to state secrets and withholding information from the public eye on the basis of national security.

Episode Fourteen | Nuclear Power

In this episode we are joined by Global Energy Practice Leader Amy Roma to discuss the nuclear energy industry. We discuss global trends in the transition away from fossil fuels and the supply chain security implications and benefits of nuclear power. We examine how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a strong emphasis on energy security and resilience for countries not just in Europe but all across the globe, including an uptick of countries looking into nuclear capability that have no prior history with nuclear power. We consider how the significant trade relationships associated with providing nuclear power technology can become friendships and alliances to exert geopolitical influence (and the national security implications of the U.S. not participating in the global nuclear market the way, for example, China and Russia are in sub-Saharan Africa). Finally, we explore the benefits of the latest generation of nuclear reactors (aka advanced nuclear reactors), recent developments in nuclear fusion, and the use of nuclear propulsion for space activities (including mining and deep space exploration).

Episode Thirteen | Quantum Computing

In this episode, like Ant-Man and the Wasp we dive into the quantum realm - specifically, quantum computing. We explain what a “qubit” is (a quantum bit) and how quantum mechanics could deliver exponential leaps forward in computer processing power and  surpass conventional supercomputers. We discuss the Biden administration’s March release of National Security Memorandum 10 - which seeks to drive U.S. leadership in quantum information science while also acknowledging the threat large scale quantum computers will pose to today’s encryption standards – while also touching on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) efforts to develop a post-quantum cryptographic standard. Finally, we touch on other emerging quantum technologies, such as quantum sensing (which could improve improvements in submarine detection capabilities), and quantum communications (including China’s reported construction of a quantum communications network).

Episode Twelve | Open Source Intelligence

In this episode, we explore the potential of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), which is publicly available information including (as discussed in our prior episodes) the social-media posts, smartphone photos, commercial drone videos, and commercial satellite imagery used by Ukraine to locate and target Russian forces. We discuss the challenges of integrating unclassified OSINT with more traditional forms of classified intelligence information. We address the fast-growing number of companies that are transforming publicly available data into OSINT, challenges faced by intelligence services with processing and analyzing the sheer volume of OSINT data available, and the fact that OSINT means keeping government clandestine operations secret is more difficult today (noting, for example, the social media furor over the Chinese spy balloons in US airspace a few months ago). 

Episode Eleven | Artificial Intelligence

In this episode, we are joined by our colleague Scott Loughlin, co-lead of our global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice to discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI). We compare the emerging AI regulatory frameworks in the EU, UK, and the U.S. Our discussion ranges from the more traditional national security use cases for AI, such as autonomous/semi-autonomous weapon systems and drones, to more recent examples including ChatGPT, deepfakes, surveillance, and the potential for waging disinformation campaigns. We discuss the responsible use of AI, potential privacy concerns, and mitigating human bias when training AI models. Finally, we talk about how AI tools can be used in company insider threat programs (a topic we will pick up in later episodes) to detect workforce activity that may indicative of an insider threat.

Episode Ten | Classified Information and Leaks

In this tenth episode, in the wake of the developing news story around the classified information leaks by a U.S. Air National Guardsmen, we discuss what is (and is not) classified information, how the personnel security clearance (PCL) process works, and dispel some myths about the classified world. We walk through classification levels, and touch on controlled access programs, such as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and Special Access Programs (SAP). We then dive into the story of the current classified information leaks, comparing this to the leaks by Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. We talk about how this story raises insider threat concerns and the consequences of the current leaks, including the possibility of a chilling effect on recent security clearance reform efforts.

Episode Nine | AUKUS and Submarine Technology

For the ninth episode, we discuss the March announcement that the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) security partnership will help Australia develop conventionally armed, nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs). We go over the recent history of Australia’s position in the Indo Pacific and strategic thinking in recent years about Australia pursuing conventional submarines or nuclear powered submarines. We also address other potential areas of technological cooperation between the AUKUS parties, before diving into some specifics about the current Collins-class SSNs and the plans for these new AUKUS-SSNs.

Episode Eight | Outbound Investment Screening

In this episode, we are joined by partners Brian Curran and Anne Salladin from our International Trade and Investment team to discuss the anticipated “reverse CFIUS” regime from the Biden administration. We unpack the strategic rationale for creating an outbound investment screening regime that we expect will focus on key sensitive industries (e.g., semiconductors, AI, quantum-computing), and make some predictions on what the anticipated Executive Order will cover. Finally, we discuss the potential drawbacks of establishing such a “reverse CFIUS” process, including the challenges for U.S. industry as well as the U.S. government.

Episode Seven | Chinese Spy Balloons

In this episode, we discuss the outcry in Washington about the Chinese surveillance balloon discovered floating over Montana and the cancellation of U.S. Secretary of State Blinken’s trip to Bejing. We touch on the technical capabilities (and limitations) of balloons as surveillance platforms. We explore what these developments mean for increasingly strained U.S.-China relations, particularly in the wake of the announcement of expanding U.S. military access to bases in the Philippines and the AUKUS submarine deal with Australia.

As we recorded this episode, the U.S. announced American military pilots shot down an object off the Alaskan coast. Since recording this episode, the U.S. has now shot down two additional craft, one over Canada and the other over Lake Huron.

Episode Six | Critical Minerals and the Supply Chain

In this sixth episode, we are joined by our colleague Kelly Ann Shaw, former Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, as we delve into critical minerals and rare earths at the intersection of environmental policy, clean energy, electric vehicles, and military technologies. We explore national security concerns regarding the dependency of the U.S. manufacturing sector on foreign suppliers and processors, and vulnerabilities to supply chain disruptions. Finally, we drill down into U.S. Government efforts to stimulate domestic production and “friend shoring” initiatives with allied countries, as well as industry innovation in alternative product designs and recycling of components.

Episode Five | Hypersonic Technology

In this episode, we set the stage for future episodes on hypersonic missile technology, describing the technical differences between a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) and a hypersonic cruise missile, and the reasons that hypersonics are more challenging for missile defense systems. We explore the operational hypersonic weapons currently deployed by Russia and China and discuss the strategic implications that the United States, while it has many hypersonic programs still in development, does not actually have a deployed hypersonic weapon system.  We discuss increased Congressional attention on hypersonic programs and the need to grow the industrial base to support hypersonic technology.

Episode Four | Battlefield Lessons from the Ukraine

In this episode, we discuss the Ukraine conflict’s impact on U.S. and allied defense spending including replacement of U.S. munitions stores to replenish High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems and ammunition, Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems and Javelin anti-armor systems; Ukrainian success with commercial off the shelf drones; and Ukrainian use of open-source intelligence (social-media posts, smartphone photos, commercial drone videos, and commercial satellite imagery) to locate and target Russian forces.

Episode Three | UAS/Drones in the National Airspace

In this episode, we are joined by our colleague Lisa Ellman, head of our Global UAS practice, to discuss advancing UAS integration into the national airspace safely and securely. We discuss the advocacy activities of HL client Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) as the non-profit organization urges action related to ongoing industry regulatory and policy challenges; the legal architecture of counter-UAS detection and mitigation, including the importance of extending and expanding the Preventing Emerging Threats Act (PETA); and potential upcoming Congressional and White House actions to promote U.S. leadership in advanced aviation technology.

Episode Two | The Biden Administration's National Security Strategy

As the protection of the American people remains a top priority, partners Michael Scheimer and Timothy Bergreen discuss the Biden Administration's National Security Strategy for 2022 as well as the Department of Defense's National Defense Strategy in the second episode of the Hogan Lovells National Security Podcast.

They unpack what is (and isn't) described in these documents in terms of strategic competition with China and Russia and explain the Biden administration's priorities in domestic industrial policy and investment.

Episode One | U.S. and China Geopolitical Competition

The Hogan Lovells National Security Podcast's pilot episode delves deep into the U.S. and China's technological rivalry within the broader context of how to promote innovation, foreign investment, and cooperative research while also addressing national security concerns.


Next steps

Listen to the latest episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our email alerts to be notified when each episode is released.


Authored by Michael Scheimer and Tim Bergreen.

Mike Scheimer
Washington, D.C.
Tim Bergreen
Washington, D.C.


This website is operated by Hogan Lovells International LLP, whose registered office is at Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FG. For further details of Hogan Lovells International LLP and the international legal practice that comprises Hogan Lovells International LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP and their affiliated businesses ("Hogan Lovells"), please see our Legal Notices page. © 2024 Hogan Lovells.

Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.