Chair: Collin Bentley

Vice Chairs: Chris Park, Aditya Sunkara

Topic 1: Demilitarization of Outer Space

“The Universe, so far as we can observe it, is a wonderful and immense engine; its extent, its order, its beauty, its cruelty, makes it alike impressive,” George Santayana, 1916.

As modern society considers the cosmos, it no longer looks to these vistas with the sole interest of science, but rather with the hope of augmenting military capabilities. The strategic value of these applications, especially as we enter a new era in space exploration, might be destructive. Ballistic missiles, communication and surveillance satellites, and anti-satellite weaponry have traditionally dictated funding in outer space research. But as countries like China and the United States finalize their plans to explore celestial bodies beyond the Moon, the need to reconsider military operations in outer space resurfaces. The idea that a world exists free of the troubles of Earth—one that promotes peace, community, and scientific progress—is a powerful, if not hopeful one. This committee will evaluate current common military strategy in outer space, consider the implications of interplanetary civilization and cohabitation, and build a solution that aims to lower the number of armaments in outer space and ensures the stability of peaceful and scientific progress beyond the planet Earth.

Topic 2: Cybersecurity

On October 21, 2016, senior engineers at Dyn, a company that provides core DNS services critical to the proper functioning of the Internet, awoke to a series of alarms indicating a coordinated massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on their infrastructure. Within minutes, large portions of the US East Coast and other areas around the world were unable to access services like Twitter, Reddit, and Heroku for a period of several hours. In little more than four decades, our generation has transformed the Internet from a 4-node defense project into the primary means of global commerce, education, and communication. As these critical commercial and civic activities are transitioned to the Internet, the incentive for malicious actors to disrupt or modify the Internet rapidly increases. This strategic desire to disrupt information and services and to intercept the data that travels online extends to countries as they look to stay ahead on the battlefield, be it physical or digital.  This committee will evaluate the landscape of global cyber attacks, consider the digital and physical responses various countries are developing for defensive and offensive purposes, and build an international, forward-thinking solution to cybersecurity through partnerships and measures aimed at understanding and strengthening our global digital stability.