Technology Holds the Key to an Effective Slimmed-Down Military

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The U.S. military must concentrate on innovation and invention to modernize in a time of limited resources.

Business as usual will weaken rather than strengthen the U.S. military in this time of budget cuts. The force must rely on technology development to ensure that it does not maintain current force sizes at the expense of enablers.

These points were outlined by Christine Fox, acting deputy secretary of defense, at the opening keynote address at West 2014, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute and being held February 11-13 in San Diego. Fox allowed that the military must become smaller over the next five years, and it must maintain capabilities that will enable it to meet any of a number of challenges.

Focusing on the Navy, Fox called for devoting an increasing focus and resources to the survival of the surface fleet. As threats to surface forces such as antiship missiles continue to grow, emphasis increases on undersea and aerial assets. And, the United States must start investing in the next generation of electronic warfare.

Fox called for more critical and innovative thinking in how to develop technology and keep it on the shelf. She also cited the need to be active in technology development and research and development across the entire spectrum of defense technologies.

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