This paper, presented to a colloquium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, September 29, 1987, suggests that the United States is lagging seriously in exploiting technology to provide operational capability. The author cites as an example the lack of progress in equipping air-delivery platforms with new and improved engagement systems and armament to engage and destroy enemy ground targets. He recommends that the United States (1) focus on programs to provide operational capability rather than more technology, (2) drastically reduce the time taken to conduct weapons programs to provide needed operational capabilities, and (3) begin advocacy of new weapons at the combatant commander level, according to the commander's operational concept to accomplish stated tasks.
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