Work Outlines New Technology Initiative

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work announced a new Defense Department-wide innovation initiative intended to help military planners allocate limited resources where it will be most effective during a Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Security Forum in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Work said DOD has been operating from the same “technological offset strategy” to come out of a similar initiative in 1975, which pushed research and development dollars into stealth technology, guided munitions, and information technology. “But it’s no longer viable in the face of adversary advances,” he said. Work noted that China and Russia are increasing defense budgets while the US slashes its own. “China’s defense budget has seen double-digit growth nearly every year over the past decade,” said Work. He added, “Today, potential challengers are investing heavily in weapons to defeat our traditional ways of operating and our most advanced systems … Our technological dominance is no longer assured.” The new initiative will set the foundation for DOD’s research and development program, which will only become more stressed under sequester. “The Pentagon’s top acquisition official, Frank Kendall, estimates that [sequestration] would remove around four or five major programs from our future inventory,” said Work. (Pentagon release.) (Listen to Work’s speech.)