The recent North Korean missile tests and other provocations have sent shock waves through the global national security community and heightened tensions throughout the region. How has North Korea increased its missile capabilities so dramatically in such a short period of time?
To regain military superiority the Pentagon has suggested a strategy that focuses on emerging technologies and deterrence. But it will need more than new technologies to deter and respond to aggression; it should also take into account grand strategy and acquisition considerations and keep countering Russia and China a top priority.
The DoD acquisition system is complex and ever-changing. It requires a trained and active workforce that has the support of Congress. Allowing some of the reforms to take place in a measured fashion would be a wise choice for the new administration and Congress.
The change in administration, coupled with the new management structure being imposed by Congress on the Department of Defense's acquisition enterprise is creating a shifting and unpredictable landscape for 2017.
The United States should continue to pursue international cooperation in cyberspace, improve its ability to identify and expose the sources of attacks, and improve its oversight of the development and adoption of cyber-related technologies.
Grand strategy, acquisitions, and technological considerations may shape the debate about the future of the U.S. military for some time to come. Only where all three elements align are future offsets likely to succeed.
The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) aims to find new sources of advanced technology to give America an edge over potential foes. DIUx is evidence of another form of innovation: organizing in new ways to capture new ideas.
The U.S. military should balance Americans' ethical concerns over computers making life and death decisions with the need to maintain an edge in the face of rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning across the globe.
The defense community has already begun a healthy dialogue about the ethics of AI in combat systems. The intelligence community should develop standards for AI risk assessments and assign responsibility for conducting them.
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.