Battlefield Transformations

Automation, biological engineering, and new manufacturing technologies will transform warfare within the next decade, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall predicted Wednesday. Kendall said commercial investments will proliferate the technologies. “Once the technologies are available, they’ll be widely available,” he said at the ComDef conference in Washington,? D.C. “So we will face them on the battlefield, and if we’re not the first to innovate, someone else will.” Even though the Pentagon is pursuing autonomous systems as part of its Third Offset strategy to outmaneuver potential adversaries, Kendall acknowledged the United States might find itself at a disadvantage. While the US military will maintain human control of lethal weapons, Kendall said, adversaries might not. “I think our values, and the way we should very appropriately act in a combat situation to protect innocents, is something that we will continue to do and I fully support,” he said. “I’m not sure that others will.”