Preface Tech Wars offers a narrative to describe the technology competition being waged throughout the world today and offers some thoughts on how the United States must adapt to be successful in this rapidly evolving, technology- rich environment. This narrative is my way of attempting to make sense of the changes that are occurring and the adaptations that will be required for the United States to be successful. Early in the book, the question of whether we will characterize this as a competition, confl ict, or war has been considered. In the end, I have chosen to depict it as a tech war to signify the magnitude and urgency of the issue at hand. This tech war has become a whole-of-society confl ict where even individ- uals fi nd themselves on the front lines with ever-increasing frequency. His- torical examples and numerous current tech “skirmishes” demonstrate the importance of getting our approach right and what happens if we don’t. In waging this war, the U.S. government has an important role to play. History demonstrates that government funding in the early stages of scien- tifi c discovery and technology development has served to move many tech- nologies from hypotheses to concepts to programs and ultimately to commercial applications. While centralized planning is an anathema to the United States, and to innovation, we see that critical innovations have resulted from U.S. government central direction and fi nancial support. Today, the United States is not prepared for waging this war. Absent fun- damental changes, our current science and technology advantages will con- tinue to erode. To respond to this urgency, new strategies, organizational changes, and resource allocations for our research and development (R&D) enterprise will be required to better posture us to take advantage of the opportunities and respond to the challenges that are on the horizon. Tech Wars provides recommendations for focused approaches to research,
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