There was a time, not that long ago, when the Pentagon’s budget for research and development drove technology investment in the United States. No longer. Today, the county’s cradle of innovation resides in Silicon Valley, and the Defense Department is struggling to keep up.
Peter Newell learned that truth a few years ago, when he was the director of an Army task force charged with getting new equipment to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan without going through the Pentagon’s normal bureaucracy. In 2012, Newell, then an Army colonel, was sitting with a Google executive in Mountain View, California, discussing an energy problem that Newell was desperately trying to solve.
“We had a great discussion, with great ideas, and eventually I said to him, ‘How much would it cost you to do X, Y, and Z?’” Newell said in a recent interview. “And the guy laughed.”
Read the full article at Foreign Policy.