July 19, 2017

The Rocky Relationship Between Washington & Silicon Valley

Clearing the Path to Improved Collaboration

By Loren DeJonge Schulman, Alexandra Sander and Madeline Christian

The Trump administration inherited a decent foundation on which to build collaborative ties between Washington and hubs of American innovation like Silicon Valley. Both President Barack Obama and former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter invested heavily in improving government outreach to the tech industry, bringing Washington and Silicon Valley closer than they have been in decades on both policy substance and technology solutions in the national security space. But the relationship was far from perfect, and it is as yet unclear whether lessons, good and bad, from Obama’s efforts have been taken seriously by their successors. 

Serious work remains to be done in substantive collaborations on countering violent extremism, the future of encryption, cybersecurity threats, and surveillance. Furthermore, several minefields lay ahead – such as addressing the technical and foreign policy challenges of “fake news,” the ongoing immigration debate, and the impact of automation on both domestic and international security matters. At this stage, it is unclear whether there will be similar levels of engagement with the tech industry to collaborate on solutions to these challenges or if the relationship will be sustained.

To read more, please visit Copia.is.

  • Commentary
    • December 12, 2019
    The China Challenge

    The United States and China are strategic competitors, and technology is at the center of this competition, critical to economic strength and national security. The United Sta...

    By Martijn Rasser, Elizabeth Rosenberg & Paul Scharre

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • December 12, 2019
    Beyond the Trade War

    In an essay for Foreign Affairs, Ely Ratner, Elizabeth Rosenberg, and Paul Scharre write that "the United States needs a fundamentally different approach to economic competiti...

    By Ely Ratner, Elizabeth Rosenberg & Paul Scharre

  • Reports
    • December 9, 2019
    The American AI Century: A Blueprint for Action

    This is a preview of the forthcoming report American AI Century. The full study, which contains in-depth analysis of the issues and details of the corresponding policy recomme...

    By Martijn Rasser, Megan Lamberth, Ainikki Riikonen, Chelsea Guo, Michael Horowitz & Paul Scharre

  • Commentary
    • Georgetown Journal of International Affairs​
    • November 21, 2019
    Upending the 5G Status Quo with Open Architecture

    This article is adapted in part from written testimony the author submitted to the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ...

    By Martijn Rasser

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia