“We have no competing fighting chance against Communist China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion.” — Nicolas Chaillan, former first Chief Software Officer for the Air Force, who resigned in protest over the Pentagon’s slow pace of technological development, citing China’s fast advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and general capabilities in cybersecurity, Financial Times, October 10, 2021
“By the time the Government manages to produce something, it’s too often obsolete.” — Preston Dunlap, the Pentagon’s first Chief Architect Officer, responsible for promoting technological innovation at the Pentagon, who also resigned, labelling the Pentagon “the world’s largest bureaucracy;” The Japan Times, April 19, 2022.
“Our lack of adopting these [commercial innovations] quickly creates an asymmetric disadvantage if our adversaries adopt them more rapidly… These differences are extremely relevant for conflicts we may face in the next decade where our adversaries effectively employ commercial technologies. For example, when U.S. troops were stationed in Iraq, ISIS sent small drones, which can be purchased on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, with grenades to kill American soldiers in Mosul… The DoD must add new capabilities like these in 1-2 years rather than 1-2 decades.” — Michael Brown, Director of the Defense Innovation Unit at the Pentagon, testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, April 6, 2022.
“[In the PRC and Russia], private companies… work together closely with their militaries to gain experience with new technologies and concepts. From drone swarming to anti-satellite weapons programs, Russia and the PRC have studied our capabilities carefully and are rapidly modernizing its own military capabilities with a priority both on asymmetry designed to neutralize U.S. overmatch and accessing innovations in its commercial sector… Imagine how well our forces will defend against PLA swarms of drones if we have not experimented with this concept,” — Michael Brown, testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, April 6, 2022.
“The current sequential process lags commercial product cycles and delivers technology several generations behind which would be the equivalent of supplying flip-phones and fax machines to our warfighters today…” — Michael Brown, testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, April 6, 2022.
Last July, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William J. Burns, said that Communist China is “the single biggest geopolitical challenge that the United States faces far out into the 21st century” and that “the main arena for competition and rivalry with China” is technology.
The Pentagon has been facing massive criticism for being unable properly, if at all, to meet that very technological challenge. “The U.S. government is not prepared to defend the United States in the coming artificial intelligence (AI) era,” the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence warned in March 2021, while also saying that Communist China was on its way to become the world’s top AI superpower.
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Author: Ruth King
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