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Defence & technology: the US between Silicon Valley and European allies

13 November 2015
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Until recently, the US and, by extension, the West, enjoyed unquestioned military superiority predicated upon unparalleled technology. But while the Pentagon used to bankroll and enable innovation with technologies ranging from precision-guided munitions to the internet, the US military is now forced to confront certain realities: the West no longer has unique control over leading technologies, the private sector provides better research and development (R&D) funding, and some of the most promising innovators are repelled by the structural inflexibility of acquisition processes. Even in the face of an eroding competitive advantage, it is particularly difficult for bureaucratic, hierarchical institutions such as the US Department of Defense (DoD). As this problem extends to Europe, a solution should be sought there, too.