Technology & National Security

Within Technology & National Security

The Technology and National Security program explores the nexus of strategy, technology, and business in a national security context. The rapid paces of technological change and increasing proliferation of advanced technology present opportunities and challenges to U.S. national security. Effective innovation will be the key factor determining whether the national security institutions benefit or suffer from these trends. The program develops practical ideas to help leaders in government and industry maintain U.S. technological advantages. 

For example, the program’s report “12 Months In – 8 Months Left: An Update on Defense Innovation” provides a status update on Secretary Carter’s innovation agenda, examines whether the innovation efforts underway have the potential to achieve the reform Carter seeks, and offers concrete steps the secretary can take to institutionalize the progress already made.

In August, the team launched the National Security Startups podcast series, which explores the potential of national security startups for entrepreneurs, investors, the defense industry, and the Department of Defense, and highlights ways all stakeholders can benefit from these opportunities. The inaugural podcast features Raj Shah, managing partner at Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), who explains why the DoD is focused on partnering with startups, challenges for collaboration, and how the DIUx will achieve its mission. Follow-on installments include discussions with startup executives who share their experience collaborating with the DoD.

The Technology and National Security program, in partnership with CNAS’ Future Warfare Initiative, is investigating the implications of drone proliferation and policy options the United States, its allies, and partners could adopt in the near term to prepare for such challenges. A World of Proliferated Drones explores the technology available to state and non-state actors, potential uses of that technology, political and strategic implications of those uses, and possible U.S. policy options. The project advances recommendations for how to address the challenges associated with a drone-saturated world.

The team is currently working on its Future Foundry project, which seeks to establish a positive vision for how the DoD can better collaborate with its industry partners to maintain the United States’ military technological advantage.

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