News | Sept. 12, 2014

DTP 106: Policy Challenges of Accelerating Technological Change: Security Policy and Strategy Implications of Parallel Scientific Revolutions

By James Kadtke and Linton Wells II DTP 106

This paper examines policy, legal, ethical, and strategy implications for national security of the accelerating science, technology, and engineering (ST&E) revolutions underway in five broad areas: biology, robotics, information, nanotechnology, and energy (BRINE), with a particular emphasis on how they are interacting. The paper considers the timeframe between now and 2030 but emphasizes policy and related choices that need to be made in the next few years to shape the future competitive space favorably, and focuses on those decisions that are within U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) purview. The pace and complexity of technological change mean that linear predictions of current needs cannot be the basis for effective guidance or management for the future. These are issues for policymakers and commanders, not just technical specialists.