US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has warned that the Pentagon’s technological edge is eroding, and the development of new technologies is necessary to maintain military dominance in the 21st century. In a speech delivered at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday, as reported by Reuters, Hagel announced new, ambitious plans to keep the US military sharp. The new ‘Defense Innovation Initiative’ will include “an effort to develop and field new systems using technologies such as robotics, autonomous systems, miniaturization, Big Data and three-dimensional printing,” according to the publication.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, warning that the Pentagon’s technological edge is eroding, announced an ambitious effort on
Saturday to identify and develop weapons systems to enable continued U.S. military dominance in the 21st century. Hagel, in a speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum, said the new Defense Innovation Initiative would include an effort to develop and field new systems using technologies such as robotics, autonomous systems, miniaturization, big data and three-dimensional printing. Noting the Defense Department did not dominate the technologies it hoped to exploit, Hagel said the Pentagon would turn to businesses and universities for ideas and help. He said the Pentagon expected the push to produce systems that would offset its rivals’ advantages, as atomic weapons did in the 1950s and precision strike and stealth have done today. “We are entering an era where American dominance in key warfighting domains is eroding, and we must find new and creative ways to sustain, and in some areas expand, our advantages,” Hagel said in a memo to Pentagon leaders announcing the initiative.