The need for purposeful and focused R&D in the U.S. has never been greater, but technology is advancing so quickly that the structures available to manage it have not kept pace. A comprehensive examination of the technological landscape is needed to help the government take a more holistic approach to investing in and regulating technologies.
Long-range military drones are fundamentally misunderstood. Their champions wrongly contend they are revolutionizing warfare, while critics fear their spread would greatly increase the threat that China, terrorists, and others pose.
When ISIS hackers hijacked the Twitter account of U.S. Central Command on Jan. 12, they falsely claimed that they had hacked into U.S. military computers. While the incident was embarrassing, it was not concerning in operational military terms. It was, however, damaging to the counterinsurgency against ISIS.
According to consumer research, the ability to consume media, write an email, or even sleep during transport is a key selling point for autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars), which could be widely available in the fairly near future. Autonomous vehicle technology could also produce a wide range of public benefits.
Despite the value of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, the amount of data they generate has become overwhelming. If the Navy does not change the way it processes information, it will reach an ISR “tipping point”—as soon as 2016.
There is no legal reason why a DoD sensor should be excluded from use in an interagency technology demonstration or in an actual counterdrug operation as long as a valid request for support is made by an appropriate law enforcement official and no personally identifiable or private information on U.S. citizens is collected.
Reports earlier this year that the U.S. Department of Defense leased a Chinese satellite to support military operations in Africa sparked concern that the arrangement could compromise control over U.S. military communications, or, worse, allow Chinese intelligence gatherers access to privileged military data.
Could armed autonomous robots embark on a campaign of indiscriminate killing? John Matsumura says that there is a convincing base of evidence that robots are more likely to prevent slaughter than engage in it.
The Army's Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) program has been getting much attention from Congress, and its future was the subject of a heated exchange between the Army's Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno and Representative Duncan Hunter in May.
The United States can manage a cybercrisis by taking steps to reduce the incentives for other states to step into crisis, by controlling the narrative, understanding the stability parameters of the crises, and trying to manage escalation if conflicts arise.
Going forward, it's clear the security plan for the U.S. diplomatic presence abroad must include well-developed strategies to both detect and prevent an assault like the one in Libya before it occurs, writes William Young.