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After two-year defense buildup, Pentagon still lags in technology innovation

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SN Military.Space Sandra Erwin

On the Reagan National Defense Forum and the West Coast Aerospace Forum this weekend, analysts and former protection officers roundly criticized the Pentagon for missing a stable plan to modernize capabilities in areas the place China and Russia are advancing, equivalent to hypersonic weapons, house techniques and cyber warfare.

The Pentagon is “fixing readiness however it’s not a program that factors to a tradition of innovation,” stated Kathleen Hicks, senior vice chairman of the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Research.

The Nationwide Protection Technique “maps out our emergence from strategic atrophy, expands the aggressive house with our adversaries, and rebuilds our navy benefit,” Protection Secretary James Mattis stated in a keynote speech on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

DOD NOT PREPARING FOR GREAT POWER COMPETITION A way more downbeat evaluation was supplied by the co-chairs of a fee that reviewed the technique, Eric Edelman and retired Navy Adm. Gary Roughead. They famous that the Pentagon faces the potential for funding cuts subsequent yr because of Trump administration efforts to chop federal spending. After a two-year protection buildup, progress might come to a halt in 2020, and the Pentagon has executed little to point out it has invested in applied sciences to counter China and Russia, they stated.

That is going to be a rising downside for the Pentagon if funds hawks within the administration and Congress resolve that the Protection Division is just not investing correctly, stated Hicks, a member of the fee. As soon as DoD figures out an innovation technique for nice energy competitors, “then you may have a stronger foundation to have a dialog about rising protection spending.”

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