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Category: Technology & Innovation

April 1, 2015

The Quantum Leap into Computing and Communication: A Chinese Perspective

For a few decades, nations have been relying on encryption systems to protect a wide variety of computerized transmissions ranging from commerce to government to military communications. While today’s encryption systems are considered reasonably secure, the possibilities of quantum cryptography and quantum computing offer a whole new dimension and threat to computerized secrecy.

April 1, 2015

Relying on the Kindness of Machines? The Security Threat of Artificial Agents

Modern technology is a daily part of our lives. It serves critical functions in defense, responding to natural disasters, and scientific research. Without technology, some of the most common human tasks would become laborious or, in many cases, impossible. Since we have become dependent on technology and its uses, and technology is becoming ever more capable, it is necessary that we consider the possibility of goal-driven, adaptive agents becoming an adversary instead of a tool.

April 1, 2015

Will Humans Matter in the Wars of 2030?

Much of the future-looking discussion in national security circles today focuses on autonomous systems and cyber weapons. Largely missing from this discussion is a place for humans on the battlefield. Do today’s emerging and potentially disruptive technologies mean that humans will no longer be important in future warfare? A look at historical military operations and current technologies suggests the proper response is that, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of man’s obsolescence have been exaggerated.

Dec. 30, 2014

Debunking Technical Competency as the Sole Source of Innovation

Academic and governmental organizations have sounded the alarm that the United States is rapidly losing technical competence, and this decline places the Nation at risk. A 1983 National Science Foundation (NSF) report stated, “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well view it as an act of war.” In 1999, Congress chartered the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (also known as the Hart-Rudman Commission) to provide the most comprehensive Government-sponsored review of U.S. national security in 50 years. The report highlighted a lack of U.S. technical competence as a national security threat second only to the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. This article attempts to answer the question: “Does improving technical competency enhance innovation?”

April 1, 2014

The Joint Force Commander’s Guide to Cyberspace Operations

Cyberspace can be leveraged by first, finding a theory to express and teach the constantly changing vagaries of that domain, including a suitable lexicon, and second, overcoming assorted turf wars and adequately resourcing the study, manning, equipping, and training of the cyberspace force so it can integrate with other domains.

April 1, 2014

Achieving Accountability in Cyberspace: Revolution or Evolution?

Cyberspace considerations are irreversibly proliferating, and five core ideas will help commanders fight a perpetual cyberwar: education and training, a clear chain of custody, explicit processes and procedures and guidance, advanced methods of controlling access to networks and information, and a formal cyberspace mishap investigation process throughout the Defense Department.

April 1, 2014

Information-Sharing with the Private Sector

The Obama administration’s Executive Order 13636 and Presidential Policy Directive 21 are a beginning, but establishing public-private information sharing requires matching cyber security legislation to fill in the gaps found in the 2003 National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, address a multitude of contentious issues, and achieve a unified cyberspace focus.

April 1, 2014

Green Peace: Can Biofuels Accelerate Energy Security?

Interagency/Navy efforts to develop and test biofuels to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources and protect the military from energy price shocks have been disappointing, and research into military application and feasibility suggests that biofuels will be neither cost competitive nor available in sufficient quantities to enhance energy security.

Jan. 1, 2014

Biometric-Enabled Intelligence in Regional Command-East

Biometric-enabled Intelligence (BEI) has established its value throughout Regional Command–East even though the full potential of biometrics-related collections and applications remains unknown. Importantly, the concept has gained traction at the general government level as well as locally, where Afghan National Security Forces and allies and adversaries are seeing the forensic footprints insurgents leave behind being exploited to erase insurgent anonymity, which has served as a traditional hiding place. Arrests and warrants are up, and BEI operations have impacted insurgents' ability to lead their movement and lower-level cells' ability to function. The pressure grows as coalition and Afghan forces employ biometrically developed watch lists and "be on the lookout" messages as part of focused hunts for offenders.

Sept. 1, 2012

Toward the Printed World: Additive Manufacturing and Implications for National Security

Additive manufacturing (AM)—commonly referred to as “three-dimensional” or “3D” printing—is a prospective game changer with implications and opportunities that affect not just the Department of Defense (DOD) but the economy as a whole. The technology allows the “art to part” fabrication of complex objects from a computer model without part-specific tooling or human intervention.1 AM has already impacted a variety of industries and has the potential to present legal and economic issues with its strong economic and health-care benefits. Because of its remarkable ability to produce a wide variety of objects, AM also can have significant national security implications. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general introduction to these issues for nontechnical readers through a survey of the recent history and the current state of technology. Included in this paper is a brief review identifying key individuals and organizations shaping developments as well as projected trends.