America’s military-technological advantage, an aspect of its strategic power since the end of the Cold War, is eroding. In response, the Pentagon launched the third offset strategy in 2014--a department-wide effort to find new ways, both technological and institutional, to leap ahead of its competitors.
A long-held military maxim is to take the high ground and hold it. That may be outdated in today’s electronic and high-tech battlefields, but that notion still holds true for scientific research and engineering. Research is the foundation for engineering invention, and that leadership in engineering underpins our national security and economy. Retaining the high ground in research and engineering is necessary to deter future conflicts, win future wars and maintain our standard of living.
“If we don’t embrace it, our adversaries will,” said outgoing DIA Director, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart. “The fight for remaining relevant in this digital age is what keeps me awake.” And Stewart was clear. It is, in many ways, an arms race. “Our adversaries have been modernizing,” he warned, speaking to a small group of reporters in August, as the agency welcomed private companies and academics to the iHub for a series of so-called Industry Days.
The U.S. military faces substantial difficulties in maintaining its current technological and operational advantages, and must invest in future capabilities for the military challenges of tomorrow. The FY 2018 defense budget request would substantially increase RDT&E spending, adding 11 percent over the FY 2017 appropriations. This brief outlines major RDT&E programs by service, stage of development, and segment, and tracks the shifts compared to prior years.
Artificial intelligence experts shook up the tech world this month when they called for the United Nations to regulate and even consider banning autonomous weapons. Attention quickly gravitated to the biggest celebrity in the group, Elon Musk, who set the Internet ablaze when he tweeted: “If you're not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea.”
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and longtime supporter of directed energy research, announced the $17 million investment during a news conference Wednesday inside a Boeing lab where many of the innovations were developed. The U.S. already has the ability to shoot down enemy rockets and take out other threats with traditional weapons, but Heinrich said it's expensive.
Adm. John Richardson ordered an operational pause in all the fleets around the world while the Navy works to determine the factors behind the collision. Richardson tweeted that the Navy will conduct a wide investigation, including a review into the possibility of "cyber intrusion or sabotage," -- though a Navy official told Fox News on Tuesday any possible cyber sabotage played "no role" in the USS John S. McCain incident.
The Pentagon won’t yet say how the USS John S. McCain was rammed by an oil tanker near Singapore, but red flags are flying as the Navy’s decades-old reliance on electronic guidance systems increasing looks like another target of cyberattack.
Securing cyberspace at the edge of the fight is not just about compliance, it is about agility and innovation, according to Peter E. Kim, Chief of Information Security Officer for the Air Force who spoke at the 2017 FCW Cybersecurity Summit. This new way of looking at cybersecurity implementation has been called the Cybersecurity Initiative, explained Kim.
Two White House offices issued guidance to federal agencies today in formulating their FY2019 budget requests on the Trump Administration’s research and development (R&D) priorities. Civil space activities are not on the list, but military space systems are briefly mentioned.