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Research Report


Copyright Date: Feb. 1, 2015
Pages: 30

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. 1-1)
  3. (pp. 2-2)
  4. (pp. 3-6)

    A number of innovative technologies, ranging from tiny unmanned systems to real-time human performance enhancement, are likely to have a significant impact on the future of warfare and thus, on the future of American national security. In many of these cases, groundbreaking work in the field of nanotechnology promises to enable the development of revolutionary military capabilities that could sustain the U.S. military advantage well into the future.

    But while the United States has long enjoyed a lead in nanotechnology research, steady declines in government funding as well as increased international investments now threaten to displace U.S. primacy in the...

  5. (pp. 7-10)

    What is the current state of U.S. and foreign cyber weapon capabilities? How do those respective capabilities impact U.S. national security? These are questions of grave consequence. Yet they are surprisingly difficult to answer. A survey of “learned scholarship” from across the globe can provide one with every opinion, ranging from “cyber war is a myth”¹ to a “cyber Pearl Harbor” is imminent.² As with most such issues, the answer lies somewhere between.

    If you ask government professionals, they will tell you that America’s critical infrastructure is highly vulnerable to attack. When he testified before the House Permanent Select Committee...

  6. (pp. 11-15)

    Since 2007, the discipline of military robotics has gained sustained and significant attention in the public debate. There is today a growing body of scholarly work devoted to the ethical implications of autonomy, remote warfare, and its compliance with the requirements of international humanitarian law.

    Roboticists such as Ronald Arkin have argued that military robotics could yield new forms of conflict, more moral and more observant of international law. “[R] obots not only can be better than soldiers in conducting warfare in certain circumstances, but they can also be more humane in the battlefield than humans,” he wrote in a...

  7. (pp. 16-20)

    A “disruptive technology”¹ ; the “third industrial revolution”² ; an element of “strategic latency,”³ and; a game-changer in “tomorrow’s wars, [where] battles will be fought with a 3D printer.”⁴ There seems to be no dearth of forecasts when it comes to describing the transformational potential of 3D printing. Indeed, the advent of 3D printing promises to touch and transform every facet of American life, including the military. For this reason, the U.S. government has been exploring mechanisms to harness this rapidly accelerating technology in order to best meet the warfighter’s needs of the future. However, absent an effort on the...

  8. (pp. 21-26)

    For more than a decade, the United States has pursued a conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) capability. The development and deployment of CPGS has been endorsed by the administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Yet, after more than a decade of development, the Department of Defense (DoD) still has no firm plans to deploy such revolutionary weapons.

    All this has generated a pair of questions that jointly have dominated the policy debate on the subject. Namely, what are the prospects for deployment of a CPGS capability in the near term? And how would such a capability serve...

  9. (pp. 27-28)