In this enlightening episode, I speak to Ryan McBeth, an experienced military veteran and a recognized figure in cybersecurity, military analysis, and artificial intelligence, to explore a range of thought-provoking topics. Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge from his 20 years of service as an anti-armor and heavy weapons infantryman and his prolific work as a software architect, novelist, and YouTube content creator. 

Ryan appears on NEWSMAX as an intelligence consultant and consults for Veloxxity on Information Warfare and OSINT. He also performed C4ISR intelligence collection for various government customers and currently consults on intelligence collection and analysis methods. 

It can be challenging for news organizations to get military news stories accurate. Ryan critiques The New York Times’ reporting on a significant incident in Gaza, tying it to a broader issue of the media’s lack of military understanding. McBeth highlights the importance of having basic military knowledge to assess better and accurately report on complex conflicts. Ryan is critical of the New York Times’ tweet and headlines, which misrepresented an airstrike that hit a Gaza hospital. He explains his analysis in more detail on his YouTube channel. 

There have been many inconsistencies and a lack of expert commentary in the reporting of the Israel-Gaza war, leading to the publication of controversial articles. Ryan explains how a lack of military representation in media can lead to misinformation. For example, the percentage of staff at the New York Times who are veterans or those with a military background and understanding is a tiny minority.  

Ryan provides data for the percentage of veterans in media in the New York Times and other news organizations. He explains how military expertise in media organizations is essential for a better understanding of war zone topics when reporting to the public. Misinformation in the media has widespread negative consequences and can influence bias globally.  

Few people in the population have served in the military, around 0.6%. Ryan explains that the information and expertise American veterans can offer society is a wasted resource. He passionately speaks about the nobility of military service and citizens’ broader civic responsibility in a democracy. He highlights the transformative and positive impact that military service can have on individuals and society. 

Ryan wishes to dispel the general public’s negative connotations against joining the military. It should be considered a valuable career choice, as those who join save lives daily, stop drug cartels, and defend America through cyber security. We are part of a wider community and country and should look after each other. There is a need for national unity, respectful discourse, and the dangers of viewing politics as a divisive, team-based sport. 

Ryan McBeth shares insights into AI-driven systems such as the Aegis and Patriot missile systems, emphasizing how AI can act as a force multiplier and improve decision-making processes in military operations. Ryan shared his perspective on using AI in military operations and the potential benefits and challenges of implementing AI in combat. He now works for Aero Med Lab as a consultant and military liaison, aiming to send whole blood packets using drones powered with Artificial Intelligence to wounded soldiers in warzones. 

Using advanced algorithms, AI can accurately identify targets, reducing the risk of civilian casualties and collateral damage. For instance, equipping tanks with AI-powered thermal imaging can help distinguish between friend and foe, ensuring that firepower is directed accurately. While integrating AI into military combat presents significant advantages in terms of operational efficiency, decision-making, and combat effectiveness, it also introduces ethical, legal, and strategic challenges that need careful consideration. Balancing these benefits and challenges is crucial for the responsible and effective utilization of AI in military contexts. 

We discussed the challenges of information warfare and delved into the complexities of navigating misinformation and the role of social media in modern conflict. We both advocate for more science-based education and critical thinking skills to combat disinformation. I spoke with Ryan about the influence of misinformation and authoritarian control. We discussed the impact of media consumption on individuals and emphasized the importance of critically evaluating information before sharing it.  

We also addressed the potential manipulation of emotions through media and the need to be cautious of polarizing content. Additionally, we delved into the appeal of authoritarian leaders and the potential influence of strong communication skills in political leadership. Our conversation highlighted the significance of informed media consumption and critical thinking in navigating today’s complex information landscape. 

Ryan McBeth’s insights challenge listeners to think deeper about the connections between military, technology, and societal issues. His emphasis on continuous learning informed citizenship and the value of military service resonates throughout the conversation, prompting a reevaluation of personal contributions to societal progress and national unity. 

Ryan’s concluding point is that we should be careful of the media we consume and its’ intended influence on our thinking. We should be careful of what we consume and share without being adequately informed and researching a topic. He explains, “If something gives you a very emotional feeling when you read it online, you might be being manipulated.” Pause before you read and share the information. Check the source. Authoritarian leaders and news sources want polarisation, and they want you to feel overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain when consuming information so that you can be unduly influenced. 

Steve’s note: Apologies to Ryan Mcbeth for not posting this much sooner. I continue to find his analyses, especially in the Israeli- Hamas conflict very helpful. I continue to grieve for the horrific violence and the rising anti-semitism as well as Islamophobia. People need to understand the powerful forces who wish to impose authoritarian rule and who think nothing of the preciousness of all life on earth. I continue to be an idealist and hope for a two state solution, where religious extremists go back to the fringe. This can only happen by more people being willing to not operate from simplistest all/ nothing, us/them, good/evil frames and realize life is precious and that our beautiful world can be made extinct by malignant narcissists who seem to only care about power, money and sexual exploitation.

Resources: 

Ryan’s Website  

Ryan McBeth- How the New York Times Gets it Wrong  

Social Media, Cyber Warfare, Data Mining and AI Used to Target, Manipulate, and Control People 

Beware the Metaverse: Dr. Rand Waltzman discusses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet   

Ryan McBeth’s Social Media:

YouTube 

SubStack  

X/Twitter 

Discord 

Instagram