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Category: Technology & Innovation

Aug. 1, 2012

Preparing the Pipeline: The U.S. Cyber Workforce for the Future

In 2008, the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative listed “expanded cyber education” as one of its key recommendations. In 2009, the Partnership for Public Service produced a report stating that the current pipeline of cybersecurity workers into the government was inadequate. In the same year, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the military was “desperately short of people who have the capabilities [to operate in cyberspace].” And in 2011, the Inspector General of the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that 35 percent of the special agents investigating national security cyber-intrusion cases lacked necessary training and technical skills. Nonetheless, the U.S. Government and private sector still seek to increase their online operations and dependency in spite of these shortcomings. An expert at the Atlantic Council of the United States sums up this problem: “cyber workforce management efforts resemble a Ferris wheel: the wheel turns on and on . . . we move, but around and around, never forward.”

Aug. 1, 2012

Trust, Engagement, and Technology Transfer: Underpinnings for U.S.-Brazil Defense Cooperation

On the eve of the January 1, 2011, inauguration of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, the State Department noted that the United States “is committed to deepening our relationship on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues with Brazil’s government and people.” President Rousseff herself declared shortly thereafter, “We will preserve and deepen the relationship with the United States.” During President Barack Obama’s March 2011 visit to Brazil, both leaders cited “the progress achieved on defense issues in 2010” and stated their commitment to “follow up on the established dialogue in this area, primarily on new opportunities for cooperation.” While these rhetorical commitments are important, will they lead to greater cooperation on defense issues and improve U.S.-Brazil ties?

Jan. 1, 2012

Sino-American Strategic Restraint in an Age of Vulnerability

For all their power, both the United States and China are increasingly vulnerable. Each faces a range of strategic dangers, from nuclear weapons to disruption of critical computer networks and space links.1 Because their relationship is at once interdependent and potentially adversarial, the United States and China are especially vulnerable to each other: interdependence exposes each to the other, while the potential for conflict impels each to improve strategic capabilities against which defenses can be futile. Strategic vulnerability cannot be eliminated, only mitigated.

Dec. 1, 2011

Deterrence and Escalation in Cross-domain Operations: Where Do Space and Cyberspace Fit?

Warfare has become even more complicated since Richard Smoke wrote this description of escalation in 1977. The National Security Space Strategy describes space as “congested, contested, and competitive,” yet satellites underpin U.S. military and economic power. Activity in cyberspace has permeated every facet of human activity, including U.S. military operations, yet the prospects for effective cyber defenses are bleak. Many other actors depend on continued access to these domains, but not nearly as much as the United States.

Feb. 1, 2011

Small Nuclear Reactors for Military Installations: Capabilities, Costs, and Technological Implications

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has become increasingly interested in the potential of small (less than 300 megawatts electric [MWe]) nuclear reactors for military use.1 DOD’s attention to small reactors stems mainly from two critical vulnerabilities it has identified in its infrastructure and operations: the dependence of U.S. military bases on the fragile civilian electrical grid, and the challenge of safely and reliably supplying energy to troops in forward operating locations. DOD has responded to these challenges with an array of initiatives on energy efficiency and renewable and alternative fuels. Unfortunately, even with massive investment and ingenuity, these initiatives will be insufficient to solve DOD’s reliance on the civilian grid or its need for convoys in forward areas. The purpose of this paper is to explore the prospects for addressing these critical vulnerabilities through small-scale nuclear plants.

July 1, 2005

The Changing Landscape of Defense Innovation

In a rapidly evolving business environment, many successful companies have transformed themselves by reexamining their core missions and competencies and exploiting innovation in nontraditional ways. General Electric still manufactures products but now identifies itself as a services company. Wal-Mart has become the premier retailer by capitalizing on its logistics and support systems. These two giants and other companies have realized that they can become more profitable by exploiting new regions of the business landscape.

July 1, 2004

Defense Laboratories and Military Capability: Headed for a BRACdown?

For 150 years, military laboratories have made vital contributions to national defense. In recent years, they have been significantly reduced in number by several rounds of base realignment and closure (BRAC). Even so, they remain the primary source of internal technical competence within the Department of Defense (DOD). Their capability in that role will depend on how DOD answers two questions. Is there excess laboratory capacity - too many laboratories relative to forecasts of future force structure? What is their military value - their likely contribution to the future operational needs of warfighters.

July 1, 2004

NATO Technology: from Gap to Divergence?

A widening technology gap between the United States and other NATO members will challenge the ability of NATO to function as a cohesive, multinational force. Over several decades, great disparities in the funding of defense research and technology by NATO members has produced a widening technological gap that threatens to become a divergence - a condition from which the Alliance may not be able to recover. The technology gap, in turn, is creating a capabilities gap that undercuts the operational effectiveness of NATO forces, including the new NATO Response Force.

April 1, 2004

The Science and Engineering Workforce and National Security

Trends in the American science and engineering (S&E) workforce and national research and development (R&D) funding patterns and priorities have troubling implications for the economic and national security of our nation.

Sept. 1, 2003

Technology, Transformation, and New Operational Concepts

Throughout history, technology has been central to warfare, often giving qualitative advantages to numerically inferior forces. Typically, the rate of technology development has been relatively slow and the introduction of new weapons systems even slower, which has allowed evolutionary development of operational concepts. Today’s accelerated pace of technology development no longer allows sequential development of operational concepts. In addition, the current global political environment has placed demands upon the military that range from engaging in major regional conflicts to stabilization, reconstruction and peacekeeping, all creating a continuous need for flexible, adaptive systems and new concepts of operation.