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Category: General Ramblings (Page 1 of 12)

“Combatant Commands” & U.S. Defense Policy

As a key organizational and operational construct within the highest levels of the United States’ military, combatant commands – along with their commanders – play significant roles in U.S. defense policy. These commands, organized either on a geographical or functional basis, provide effective command and control of military forces, regardless of branch of service, in peace and war. By their nature, they offer U.S. defense policy and application of military force several benefits, but likewise face several challenges.

The combatant command structure emerged out of an evolution, prompted by historical circumstances, in the military’s approach to force unity and command and control. Prior to the Second World War, the services operated independently. Coordination between branches of the armed forces was frequently marred by bureaucratic distrust and service rivalry. The experience of the Second World War, particularly in the Pacific theater, demonstrated the operational pitfalls of this arrangement; differences between the Army and Navy precluded any sort of consistent unified command. While commanders were able to work together to defeat Japan, it wasn’t without considerable fiction and infighting as commanders within the independent, powerful commands competed for the same resources and the attention of senior leadership.

Given the dynamics of the post-war geopolitical environment, a global military presence was viewed as a guarantee against Communist expansion. Achieving such presence necessitated an effective, geographically-focused, long-term, joint-command arrangement. Between this and the lessons learned from the Second World War, legislation over the course of three decades established geographic unified commands, clarified lines of command for unified commanders, and, per the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, permanently assigned forces to unified combatant commands.

The premise and purpose of Combatant Commands remains essentially the same today. Combatant commanders integrate and utilize air, land, sea, and amphibious forces within the geographic or functional area of their control to achieve U.S. national security objectives. They are responsible for accomplishing missions assigned to their region, designating objectives, assigning tasks, and giving authoritative direction over all aspects of military operations as well as all aspects of joint-training and logistics. Likewise, they are responsible for establishing command relationships with subordinate commands and for organizing subordinate units as deemed necessary. They take direction from the Commander in Chief – the President – and are responsible to the Secretary of Defense.

Combatant commands offer several benefits. First, and perhaps most importantly, they provide unified and integrated command and control of cross-service forces in a theater. This is critical for the United States’ current military doctrines, which emphasis use of joint-service application of force. By minimizing confusion, competition, and conflict between the services in operations, the military can more effectively conduct its primary mission of keeping America secure and waging conflict. For functional combatant commands, integrating all elements of a particular warfighting domain – such as cyber, space, and strategic forces – under a single chain of command allows for easier oversight, coordination, and rapidity of action.

Second, as regional combatant commanders wield considerable influence over American foreign policy in their area of responsibility and have the resources and authority to act quickly, they can be disproportionately effective, compared to other American foreign policy actors, in shaping dialogue and events in theater so as to advance American security and foreign policy interests. Likewise, their relationships and integration with regional counterparts through military engagement programs provides them policy leverage that other elements of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus may not possess. Frequently, the power to “get something done” may lie with a foreign military rather than in a foreign ministry. As such, the United States’ government has increasingly deferred to and provided resources for combatant commanders to achieve regional objectives, regardless of whether those objectives are distinctly military in nature or not.

Combatant commands also come with challenges both inherent to their structure and manifest from their historical and contemporary execution. First is manifest from the policy influence that combatant commanders have. Commentators have suggested that combatant commanders have overstepped their bounds in executing American foreign policy. The resources of the DoD and combatant commands may provide a quick response to a foreign issue, but not necessarily the correct or most effective response. Once combatant commands are engaged in a foreign policy effort, they tend to continue, as it is difficult and time consuming to transfer responsibilities to civil organizations. Because of this, civilian agencies that are, by law and by tradition, supposed to manage U.S. foreign relations have tended to be relegated to an increasingly secondary role – and have faced budgetary pressures reflecting that. Similarly, the influence of combatant commanders and their role in executing U.S. foreign policy raises questions about the civilian oversight and control.

This issue ultimately comes down to a key point bout handling the issues of today’s world. Military engagement programs with other countries can be seen only as part of the overall engagement activity of the U. S. government. Modern security challenges such as terrorism, narcotics, smuggling, and international criminal networks can no longer be managed as single agency programs but must be integrated into “whole of government” programs. That combatant commands and their commanders have widened, not closed, the gap between the foreign policy agencies involved in a “whole of government” approach is a distinct challenge and concern.

Next, the geographically organized and regionally focused combatant command structure does not readily accommodate solutions to post-Cold War era challenges such as the emergence of transnational groups and regional powers, which operate outside traditional borders and in nontraditional domains. Strict geographic regionalism is no longer how the world operates. From this stems issues of and disagreement over responsibility over problems that extend across areas of command. Coordination on handling these new and emerging challenges will be increasingly difficult if the rigidity of the combatant command structure is maintained. Meanwhile, the lead for two major security concerns of priority today – international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – falls squarely on the shoulders of two functional combatant commands – Special Operations command and Strategic Command, respectively. The geographic combatant commands are, by their nature, not designated as the lead organizations for managing two of the United States’ primary military challenges.

Considering these challenges, experts both within and outside the Department of Defense have offered several suggestions for reform of the combatant command structure – or fundamental change to the way the United States organizes command and control. Nonetheless, in the present day, combatant commands play a vital role within the United States’ military and defense policy, and their commanders are actors of considerable influence for American foreign policy. The combatant command structure has brought the United States considerable military advantage throughout the past decades – even if it comes with drawbacks and faces increasingly difficult questions and issues.

On “Strategy”

For leaders and decision-makers grappling with a diversity of complex, occasionally competing, national interests, as well as with challenges in every region of the world, the ability to hierarchize interest and threat vis-à-vis national goals enables them to effectively allocate attention and resources to priorities. Ideally, this is achieved through crafting and implementing “strategy.” While the process of formulating and employing strategy is rife with challenges and shortcomings, it is nonetheless one of significant meaning and importance for U.S. foreign and defense policy. In lack of a strategy – a firm grasp, prioritization, and articulation of national interests – there is a danger that policy will wander according to the crisis or fashion of the moment and that policymakers will be exposed to distraction, confusion, and be led to overreach.

A “good” strategy is a method, not an endpoint. It is a process of defining political ends, of identifying critical approaches for achieving those ends, and of problem-solving in circumstances where much lies outside decision-makers’ ability to control. Good strategy reduces uncertainty in times of ambiguity and clarifies which options for action and reaction are in line with national priorities, preparing leaders to act in integrated ways even when surprised. Likewise, in an international environment saturated with potential challenges, threats, and opportunities, a strategy delivers guidance on which should be deemed and treated as critical for national attention and which should not.

Beyond providing a methodology for thinking about and acting upon decisions, crafting strategy offers functional benefits for the organizations that engage in it. First, a strategy helps bridge the gap between the government’s resources and policy ambitions. Limitless policy and programmatic opportunities are bounded by real constraints in funding and manpower. Through the act of declaring top priorities and goals, policymakers can identify the programs that support them most closely, which warrant a greater share of the limited available budget, and appropriate accordingly. Next, the process itself of developing a strategy helps focus policymakers and bureaucracies. As with any thought-exercise, it provides policymakers an opportunity to consider more closely national needs, goals, and options to pursue them. It allows them to hone in on an integrated way of thinking and doing amidst the confusion of constantly changing events.  Articulating priorities provides guidance to implementers throughout the bureaucracy for devising executable steps toward achieving them.

Finally, strategy serves an important messaging function that conveys the intent of defense policy to audiences both domestic and international. In the domestic sphere, it informs the public and Congress of the Department of Defenses’ interests, concerns, and policy priorities. Deciding whether to abide by a strategy through authorizations and appropriations that align with its tenets is ultimately the prerogative of Congress; nonetheless, it is valuable for members and their staff to understand how the Department of Defense intends to approach issues – how it “thinks” – when developing policy. Internationally, it communicates to friends and foes alike how the United States sees global developments and how it will act to shape them and in response. This offers allies an opportunity to align their own strategies to support and supplement the United States, and serves as a form of warning or deterrent to potential adversaries.

The strategies that most effectively achieve these aims consist of certain key elements. First, and perhaps most important, a good strategy is realistic. One that fails to consider, or misconstrues, the real limits of national means and power defeats the purpose of providing decision-makers guidance on how best to employ available resources to advance the national interest. A realistic strategy acknowledges constraints; indeed, in doing so, it prepares decision-makers for making choices that account for these constraints and work around them. Similarly, good strategies are limited in objective and scope. A broad strategy makes it difficult for policymakers to prioritize top objectives, especially given the limited means available to execute, and runs the risk of leading to overextension and decisions that conflict with each other. With a broad strategy, hierarchies of interests and threats tend to become blurred or collapse altogether.  Instead of cataloguing every interest, strategy should consist of decision rules that allow for application to events as they unfold.

Good strategies are clear in direction, to allow for their consistent implementation through all levels of the bureaucracy and across multiple decisionmakers. Strategies that are unclear or ambiguous in tenet and direction lead to different interpretations among various levels of the bureaucracy, which can muddle execution and lead to non-integrated action. Finally, a good strategy is one that is conceptualized and crafted through an inclusive process that involves all stakeholders. Not only does this secure needed buy-in from the wide array of actors responsible for implementing the strategy, but it allows for a diversity of perspectives to be offered, taken into consideration, and included.

The process of crafting and implementing defense strategy is a challenging one. With multiple constituencies seeking to involve their particular interests or “pet projects” in a strategic framework, the strategy that emerges risks being burdened by excessive and specific detail. Detail can be constraining – a good strategy is limited in scope and breadth – as it minimizes the space for recalibration and adaptation to changing circumstances. The discipline to minimize detail in a strategy is not always forthcoming. Meanwhile, competition regarding priorities, programs, and approaches to be included in a strategy tends to emerge between career bureaucrats and political appointees.  By virtue of their different positions and prerogatives, both have different – often-contradictory – perspectives on the best course of action to take. Political appointees seek to advance the agenda of the Administration and correspondingly approach strategy with a short-term, politicized focus. Particularly within the Department of Defense, career bureaucrats with long institutional histories and knowledge tend to seek preservation of the status-quo and to protect or give priority to their own institutional interests. Striking a balance between these perspectives can be a difficult task, necessitating significant compromise and limiting the extent to which an Administration can pursue its defense policy aims and objectives.

A further challenge in executing strategy is linking the long-term goals set by planners and “strategists” with the short- and mid-term actions that operators can reasonably take to deal with a crisis of the moment. Imperatives do not always align on the short- and long-term perfectly, and planners and operators have different institutional incentives to address tensions. Even with good strategies that are clear in direction and guidance, implementation will suffer because of differing pressures and competencies throughout all levels of the bureaucracy. Finally, a continuing, indeed, inherent, challenge with crafting and implementing strategy is simply that of its nature. How does one know that a strategy is good? How can one be sure that a strategy is working? These are questions without clear answers – decision-makers can work only with their best assumptions and predictions about the world and alter those assumptions as needed. Strategies need to both offer a framework for dealing with security challenges and world events but also simultaneously allow for flexibility and adaptability to new situations.

Despite these challenges, the act of developing, articulating, and implementing strategy is and will remain an invaluable tool for the Department of Defense and American defense policy. An integrated way of thinking about and handling the world’s challenges, even if flawed, is always superior for advancing national interest than haphazardly stumbling into the crises of vogue.

On the Nature of Science and Technology Power

Its Attributes, Role, and Importance


Science and technology – the pursuit of new knowledge and the development of new systems, hardware, and methods of operation – are essential to the growth, security, and prosperity of a nation. As Vannevar Bush, while outlining the necessity for a robust science and technology system in the United States, observed in his seminal “Science: The Endless Frontier,”

“[S]cientific progress is, and must be, of vital interest to government. Without scientific progress the national health would deteriorate; without scientific progress, we could not hope for improvement in our standard of living or for an increased number of jobs for our citizens; and without scientific progress we could not have maintained our liberties against tyranny.”[i]

Indeed, the United States’ leadership in science and technology has been a historical cornerstone of its capacity for “hard power” force application and projection and economic and societal “soft power.” It buttresses the country’s economic might, enables the modern standards of living of our citizenry, and expands our global cultural and normative reach.[ii] Equally so, the power of science and technology has been decisive in the context of national security. As President Truman noted in 1945, while urging Congress to create a Department of National Defense, “no aspect of military preparedness is more important than scientific research.”[iii] Through discoveries, technological innovation, and the capacity to develop ideas into deployable weapons, systems, and concepts, the United States has arrived at its modern-day military advantage and superiority.[iv]

To that end, science and technology may be considered key elements of the United States’ comprehensive national power – fundamentals of the country’s strength vis-à-vis competitors. Yet science and technology alone cannot ensure any country’s continued security, prosperity, or hegemony; far from operating in a vacuum, science and technology are constantly evolving to address changing domestic and international circumstances and threats. To reap advantage from science and technology, especially in their national security application, a country must continually innovate to tackle contemporary developments and anticipate future ones. This poses a considerable challenge, the solution to which extends beyond advanced engineering and research.

To explore these notions, this essay, particularly interested in the application of science and technology toward national security ends, examines the United States’ recent employment of security-related technologies. From this, it explores the attributes of science and technology power and the similarities and differences between science and technology power and other forms of national power such as the economic and diplomatic. Looking at the relative importance of science and technology in the United States today and likely significance in the coming future, it lays out a series of policy recommendations that may guide policymakers as they make decisions that impact the direction of the country’s scientific and technological course.

Employment of – and Challenges Facing – National Security-Related Technology

Recognizing the vital role that technology played in winning World War Two, along with the emerging threat of Soviet technological competitiveness, the United States established in the war’s wake an extensive infrastructure to support national security science and technology efforts. This provided foundation and catalyst for the development of military capabilities and tools needed to meet the challenges of the Cold War and the modern day: the nuclear triad, intelligence-gathering and cyber infrastructure, space-based radar and communications systems, advanced precision-guided munitions, and integrated command and control, along with myriad other assets.[v]

These technologies have seen extensive use in contemporary military conflicts. The wars in the Balkans and the Gulf saw the ever-increasing use of position, navigation, and timing assets such as GPS to provide precise and reliable information to the warfighter and direct precision-guided weaponry.[vi] Targeted airstrikes and weapons such as the long-range cruise missile have allowed for far more rapid, responsive, and accurate strikes than those of the past while substantially reducing collateral damage. Combat drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, innovations emblematic of the “War on Terror,” enable the warfighter to engage adversaries and conduct reconnaissance while safely remaining away from the front lines of the battlefield. Stealth aircraft, using a range of advanced technologies that reduce reflections and emissions, have helped pilots conduct sorties while evading detection.[vii]

Technology abets the United States’ security beyond warfighting. Advanced cyber capabilities – encryption, for example – seek to defend the networks which control the country’s power, transit, and water infrastructure from malicious hacks and crippling denial of service.[viii] Technologies capable of detecting harmful biological and chemical agents guard the country against potentially devastating attack by non-state actors.[ix] Increasingly sophisticated monitoring and surveillance technology enables the government to globally track and work to counter criminal activity, terrorist organizations, and other developments which threaten the country’s safety.[x]

Crucially, though, the United States’ contemporary application of national security systems has also demonstrated the inherent challenges of innovation and the limitations of technology. Despite advanced military hardware, principally designed to fight large-scale conventional wars against Cold War-era foes, the United States military had to “catch up” and react to unconventional tactics, such as roadside bombs and sniper attacks, employed against it in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Though decidedly outnumbered and outgunned, enemy combatants effectively countered the United States’ asymmetric technological advantage through guerilla warfare, propaganda, and exploiting collateral damage that advanced weapons systems created – doctrines which the United States’ technology did not anticipate and was unprepared or unsuited to counter.[xi] Likewise, despite the sophistication of the United States’ homeland security technologies, the government has struggled to prevent incidents of domestic terrorism such as mass shootings, often characterized by the use of simple, off-the-shelf equipment.[xii]

Meanwhile, in reaction to the United States’ present-day technological superiority, competitive foreign powers such as Russia and China are heavily investing in hardware and capabilities in the cyber and military realms specifically designed to counter the United States’ technological strengths and exploit its demonstrated vulnerabilities. The technological capabilities underlying the United States’ comparative military advantage are now proliferating to an increasing number of state and non-state actors, including potential adversaries, leveling the military “playing field.”[xiii]

The Attributes of National Security Science and Technology Power

From this, several key attributes and characteristics of science and technology as a form of national power can be identified. Foremost is the capacity for technology and science to be a significant, occasionally decisive, enhancer of a country’s military strength against enemies. Countries which develop innovative military technologies which effectively counter an adversary’s offenses or defensives, or against which an adversary has no means to protect itself, find themselves disproportionately advantaged on the battlefield. Indeed, technologies which upend dominant “status quo” warfighting paradigms – such as, historically, the introduction of the chariot, the tank, or nuclear weapons – are poised to significantly disrupt and reorder the geopolitical and military balance of power.[xiv]

To that end, science and technology power, particularly in the national security sphere, is developed and sustained through the adaption to, and more so through the anticipation of, revolutionary changes in military affairs, doctrine, and hardware. As Lieutenant Colonel Scott Stephenson noted in the influential “The Revolution in Military Affairs,” “those slow to adapt to military revolutions… are likely to suffer painful results. When the pace of change accelerates, the militaries that anticipate and adapt are likely to gain a massive advantage over potential enemies who are less agile.”[xv] That agility is, in large part, borne from innovations in science and the development of new technologies which lead to unanticipated, and therefore difficult to counter, doctrines.

A defining characteristic of science and technology power, then, is the continual quest for states to match, counter, and out-compete the technology of their adversaries. This continuing interplay between technology and national power, characterized by the sustained technological evolution and described often as an “offset,” has been a key focus for national security-related research and development throughout the Cold War and into the present. The United States’ deployment of nuclear weapons, for example, offset the numerical advantage held by the Soviet Union’s land forces in the early Cold War. Soviet parity in nuclear weapons catalyzed the development of guided weapon and integrated command and control as a counter, focusing on accuracy of targeted weapons systems independent of range.[xvi] The United States’ capacity to offset Soviet technology through innovative developments – and the Soviet bankruptcy borne from military expenditure that came as a corollary – was an important factor in maintaining a generally peaceful stable of power along with the country’s ultimate triumph in the Cold War. In the present-day, China and Russia’s focus on countering the systems and technologies which currently provide the United States’ military asymmetry is emblematic of this “offset” approach to science and technology power.

Paradoxically, however, national security-related technology in the present day has become as great an equalizer as it has historically been a separator of actors’ strengths. Technological superiority in the present may provide the United States’ unrivaled military strength, especially against foes (historically, state actors with large conventional forces) for which its national security technologies anticipated countering. Yet as the example of the Iraq and Afghani insurgencies amply demonstrated, technological superiority coupled with innovation focused on addressing hypothetical future battlefields may not be adequate to oppose or defeat all actors or all forms of warfare, regardless of the level of their sophistication.

Indeed, advanced technologies may be entirely vulnerable to actors utilizing doctrines with simple technologies that nonetheless exploit their weaknesses, as was the case with sophisticated – and expensive – American vehicles being destroyed by crude, homemade IEDs. Technology itself also creates weaknesses; the United States’ progressing economic and social reliance upon interconnected networks, for example, makes the country more vulnerable to potentially crippling attack. Despite advanced American cybersecurity technologies and techniques, non-state actors have still proven themselves capable of infiltrating, attacking, and even denying use of American cyber capabilities; considering recent trends, this vulnerable seems likely to continue, if not worsen.[xvii]

It may be that an attribute of science and technology power, borne more from the focus and perceptions of the technologists, theorists, and military leadership that employ it than from science and technology itself, is that it obscures other factors which equally dictate important developments in military, international, and geopolitical affairs. Political upheaval, social change, and economic development can change warfare dramatically, for example – and have nothing to do with “offset” strategies or war-room predictions of possible enemies’ future high-tech military hardware. As a product of the military-industrial complex that emerged in the Cold War United States to sustain continued technological development, Americans tend to be acutely – perhaps overly – sensitive to technological innovation among competitors and potential rivals. Fears during the Cold War and contemporary discussions of the “Third Offset” paint pictures of emerging, potential, and fanciful enemy weapon systems – which military planning and technology development was and is oriented toward countering.[xviii] This fixation on solutions entailing engineering and technological complexity blinds the national security technology apparatus to external trends that could definitively impact the future course of war – such as the collapse of the Soviet Union leaving the United States with a high-tech military and warfighting doctrine unsuited for the military pressures and asymmetric nature of counterinsurgency; the rise of radical terrorism with ideological underpinnings that condone unconventional guerilla tactics such as suicide bombings, which had great effect against high-tech targets; or the continuing crisis where lone-wolf gunmen using off-the-shelf rifles can commit massacres despite the government’s highly complex and pervasive surveillance and monitoring technology.

Similarities and Differences to Other Forms of National Power

With these attributes in mind, a comparison can be drawn between science and technology power and other forms of power which constitute a country’s comprehensive strength, such as the economic and diplomatic. Regarding the economic, science and technology power is similar in that the development of science and technology is driven by the same forces as economic growth. Like new economic products, services, and methods of operation, science and technology power relies upon the ingenuity of human actors predicting and anticipating future trends, possibilities, and human behavior. Innovation, iteration, and competitiveness are fundamental catalysts for the continued evolution and growth of both. The rapid proliferation and subsequent use of innovative technologies across the world quickly equalizes both the national security advantage and the economic advantage they provided their inventor.

Economic power, like national security technology, is a key element of a country’s warfighting capability – industrial might, strength in quality production, and capable infrastructure are crucial facets of a country’s ability to mobilize and project force. A fundamental difference between economic power and science and technology power, however, is competition. While economies naturally compete, there is incentive for states to specialize in the economic product or service most suited for it – their comparative advantage. Competing economies are not actively incentivized to counter the economic specialization of their rivals. With science and technology power for national security use, however, states decidedly hope to actively and explicitly counter the relative advantage of their adversaries.

Like diplomatic power, science and technology has a “soft power” element; other states and their societies may be influenced or compelled to action by the might, prestige, or cultural and technological hegemony of a country in possession of highly advanced and capable technologies.[xix] Diplomatic power occasionally experiences the same issue of science and technology policy in being blinded to unpredicted or external trends in the social, cultural, and economic spheres. The power of diplomacy, for example, did not anticipate and struggled to deal with the cultural, social, and political circumstances that led to a breakdown of order in post-invasion Iraq; just as national security technology was unprepared for the guerilla warfare of the Iraqi insurgency. Diplomatic power and science and technology power differ, though, in the fields of innovation and evolution. Whereas the military regime is constantly evolving and occasionally being upended by revolutions in security technology and associated doctrine, the Westphalian diplomatic order has remained largely similar through centuries – even as it has grown gradually more complex and interconnected. States do not tend seek to outcompete each other in the diplomatic sphere through revolutionary new approaches to diplomacy; negotiations, sanctions, deals, bi- and multilateral agreements, and the like have remained consistent “doctrines” employed by states in their dealings with international friends and foes.

Science and Technology Power’s Present and Future Importance


To return to Vannevar Bush’s assertion over half a century ago, science and technology is crucially important for a states’ economic growth and prosperity, the wellbeing of its citizens, and national security. This remains absolutely the case today. Despite the challenges facing innovation in the face of unanticipated adversaries and the proliferation of advanced, equalizing technologies among adversarial states and non-state actors, science and technology provides the United States’ unrivaled levels of security and military hegemony.

With the appearance of significant global challenges – refugee crises, environmental degradation, the possible emergence of a bi- or multi-polar world characterized by states with rough or equal technological parity, to name a few – the future importance of science and technology power cutting across all aspects of national security will undoubtedly redouble. Science and technology and its application as an element of the United States’ national power will need to be directed to address these challenges. While the exact characteristics that will define domestic and foreign national security technologies of the future – not to mention the economic and social – remain uncertain, the United States cannot afford to permit its current technological advantage to slip. Indeed, as revision states such as China continue to develop their technologies to directly counter the United States’ capabilities, it will likely become an imperative for the country to more actively engage in and support the development of innovative new security technologies and doctrines – lest, as history would suggest, the international order again be upended.

Suggestions for Policymakers

To that end, taking into consideration the historical and contemporary application of science and technology policy and acknowledging its various attributes, policymakers may be guided by a number policy suggestions. Among them:

  • To preserve its national security, the United States must continue to – and indeed should more proactively and resolutely – develop technologies that seek to “offset” the growing technological parity at which advanced state adversaries such as China are arriving.
  • Effective innovation in military technology is difficult to achieve without a distinct adversary or system to counter;[xx] the United States should focus its technological developments less on hypothetical possibilities and more on realistic, short- to mid-term technological challenges it faces.
  • To achieve that, policymakers should consider methods to speed up acquisition processes and systems delivery; technologies with years to decades-long development times are generally antiquated or, in the case of the U.S. military in post-invasion Iraq, unsuited for the threats and challenges of the time they are deployed.
  • Despite the importance of science and technology power for the United States’ military strength and national security, it alone does not dictate the nature of warfare. The development and application of security technology should be coupled with a more nuanced understanding of the external forces – social, cultural, political – that may shape the character of the war in which technology power is employed.

Works Cited

[i] Vannevar Bush. “Science: The Endless Frontier”. National Science Foundation. July 1945. Retrieved from: https://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nsf50/vbush1945.htm

[ii] Gerald Epstein. “Science and Technology: Making Smart Power Smarter”. CSIS Commission on Smart Power. July 12, 2007. Retrieved from: https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/legacy_files/files/media/csis/pubs/071207_smart_power_epstein_science_technology.pdf

[iii] President Harry S. Truman. “Special Message to the Congress Recommending the Establishment of a Department of National Defense”. December 19, 1945. Retrieved   from: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=12259

[iv] National Science and Technology Council. “A 21st Century Science, Technology, and   Innovation Strategy for America’s National Security”. May 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/resources/National_Security_ST_Strategy_2016_FINAL.PDF

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Joint Staff. “Joint Publication 3-14: Space Operations”. May 29, 2013. PP. 35.

[vii] Eric Beidel, Sandra Erwin, & Stew Magnuson. “10 Technologies the U.S. Military Will Need For the Next War”. November 2011. Retrieved from:             http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2011/november/pages/10technologiestheusmilitarywillneedforthenextwar.aspx

[viii] David Meadows. “Blog: Cybersecurity Is Crucial to National Security”. February 11, 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=Blog-cybersecurity-crucial-national-security

[ix] National Academies. “Core Science and Technology Capabilities for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program”. 2012. Retrieved from:       https://www.nap.edu/read/13516/chapter/5#40

[x] David Gallington. “The Case for Internet Surveillance”. September 18, 2013. Retrieved from: https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/09/18/internet-surveillance-is-  a-necessary-part-of-national-security

[xi] Anthony Cordesman. “The Real Revolution in Military Affairs”. CSIS. August 4, 2014. Retrieved from: https://www.csis.org/analysis/real-revolution-military-affairs

[xii] William Brennan. “Bulletproofing America”. February 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/bulletproofing/508754/

[xiii] Michele Flournoy & Robert Lyons III. “Sustaining and Enhancing the US Military’s Technological Edge”. Strategic Studies Quarterly. Summer 2016.

[xiv] Shawn Brimley. “Offset Strategies & Warfighting Regimes”. October 15, 2014. Retrieved from: https://warontherocks.com/2014/10/offset-strategies-warfighting-regimes/

[xv] Scott Stephenson. “The Revolution in Military Affairs: 12 Observations on an Out-of-Fashion Idea.” Military Review. May 2010. Retrieved from:             http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20100630_art007.pdf

[xvi] Shawn Brimley. “Offset Strategies & Warfighting Regimes”. October 15, 2014. Retrieved from: https://warontherocks.com/2014/10/offset-strategies-warfighting-regimes/

[xvii] Max Boot. “The Paradox of Military Technology”. The New Atlantis. October 2006.   Retrieved from: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-paradox-of-military-technology

[xviii] Scott Stephenson. “The Revolution in Military Affairs: 12 Observations on an Out-of-Fashion Idea.” Military Review. May 2010. Retrieved from:             http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20100630_art007.pdf

[xix] Gerald Epstein. “Science and Technology: Making Smart Power Smarter”. CSIS Commission on Smart Power. July 12, 2007. Retrieved from: https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/legacy_files/files/media/csis/pubs/071207_smart_power_epstein_science_technology.pdf

[xx] Scott Stephenson. “The Revolution in Military Affairs: 12 Observations on an Out-of-Fashion Idea.” Military Review. May 2010. Retrieved from:             http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20100630_art007.pdf

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