The linkage between technology, doctrine, and weapons innovation: experimentation for use

by Arthur J. Alexander

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This paper argues that a crucial step is required between the output of organized R&D and the formation of doctrine and weapons procurement decisions. This step involves experimentation in the use of the product. As systematic organized R&D continues to successfully produce an array of potential technologies, subsystems, systems, and assorted improvements to existing weapons, the choice among them is the critical problem. Correct strategies for dealing with strong uncertainties are necessary to effectively capitalize on new technologies. The paper explores the concept of "strong" uncertainty and describes examples of successful and less successful attempts to deal with the uncertainties of use. Also considered are various experimental means for reducing these strong uncertainties, as well as some policies to implement strategies of experimentation in the use of new systems and technologies.

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