What the Third Offset and its predecessors have done well is identify the strategic imperative for securing a new competitive operational edge through technology. This signaling is critical. It can reassure our allies and deter our adversaries by demonstrating the reliability of future U.S. military dominance. For innovators - whether they are government insiders, denizens of traditional and nontraditional defense industry, or other potential partners - it can serve as a clarion call for bold ideas.
China is taking a page from the Pentagon's playbook under the Obama administration: it's partnering with tech companies to develop more cutting-edge weapons. But China's innovation-focused strategy could elevate the espionage risk to the U.S.
Russia and China are increasingly challenging the military superiority that the United States has held since the early 1990s. Since the end of the Cold War, America’s naval, air, land and space capabilities, paired with key bases in Europe and Asia, has created a strategic advantage over other major superpowers.
Although China could initially only observe the advent of the Information-Technology Revolution in Military Affairs, the People’s Liberation Army might presently have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the military applications of artificial intelligence to transform warfare. When the United States first demonstrated its superiority in network-centric warfare during the first Gulf War, the PLA was forced to confront the full extent of its relative backwardness in information technology.
Getting young people interested in STEM is not just “good business” for our Army Corps of Engineers; it is essential to the strength of our nation. For the Corps of Engineers, being able to recruit and retain high-quality technical professionals is essential if we are to successfully execute our mission: building and operating infrastructure and projects that increase resiliency, energize the national economy and support national defense.
The U.S. government urgently needs to transform its approach to space defense. Slow and onerous procurement processes are stunting the innovation necessary to sustaining the nation’s leadership in the national security space arena.
Last year, for example, Microsoft researchers proclaimed that the company had created software capable of matching human skills in understanding speech. Although they boasted that they had outperformed their United States competitors, a well-known A.I. researcher who leads a Silicon Valley laboratory for the Chinese web services company Baidu gently taunted Microsoft, noting that Baidu had achieved similar accuracy with the Chinese language two years earlier.
Tiny drones could scout high-rise buildings and underground tunnels for possible threats to US troops in cities of the future. But instead of spending years cooking up the necessary drone technologies in military research labs, the Pentagon might be better off shopping for the latest civilian drones coming soon to stores.
Top innovators, scholars and business leaders gathered at the Pentagon Jan. 9th for the second meeting of the Defense Innovation Advisory Board and approved 11 recommendations aimed at keeping the Defense Department on the cutting edge in technology, culture, operations and processes.
It was a good year for imaginative military innovations. From “Star Wars”-style speeders to an inescapable surveillance drone, many of the futuristic advances seem straight out of science fiction or Hollywood blockbusters. Here are some favorites from 2016.