Kendall Says US Falling Behind Technologically

The US is “at risk” when it comes to technological advancement, “and the situation’s getting worse,” said Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s acquisition, technology, and logistics chief. Speaking at a Wednesday House Armed Services Committee hearing on improving the Defense Department’s ability to respond to the pace of technological change, Kendall said the Chinese in particular are passing the US in military technology, though the Russians also are a concern. “We came out of the Cold War with a very dominant military. We demonstrated that military conclusively in the first Gulf War. And we’ve used it very effectively against any conventional force in the period since,” said Kendall. He added, “No one observed more carefully the dominance that we demonstrated in 1991 than the Chinese.” Specifically, he said he is worried about the possibility of near-peer missiles attacking America’s “few high-value assets,” such as satellites and aircraft carriers. Electronic warfare also is a concern “and it’s an area that, because of all that’s going on, we probably haven’t focused” on enough, Kendall said. There are a “number of things, which I think are being developed very consciously to defeat the American way of projecting power and we need to respond to that,” he added.