4 Tech Wars An important and growing global ecosystem consisting of scientists, technologists, and engineers drives the quest for scientifi c discovery and technology development. Some quest for pure knowledge and greater understandings of natural phenomenon. Others for monetizing technolo- gies and gaining wealth. These pioneers work in a wide range of circum- stances. A majority work in industries that range from large trillion-dollar corporations such as Apple and Meta (formerly Facebook) to large integra- tors and medium and small businesses. A global network of universities provides key early basic and applied research that fuels the S&T enterprise both here in the United States and internationally. Some also work in gov- ernment labs, others in federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) that support government R&D efforts. Specialized organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the United States have been estab- lished throughout the global S&T ecosystem to drive scientifi c discovery, technology development, and innovation. Venture capitalists—with large pots of money and the mantra of “fail fast, fail often”—provide an impor- tant catalyst that propels the S&T ecosystem. In this global S&T ecosystem, the lines have become blurred. All technolo- gies are inherently dual use, and therefore, we see technologies developed for military purposes that move seamlessly into civilian or commercial applica- tions. However, the opposite is also true, that bleeding-edge technologies also fl ow easily into the military domain. Attempting to limit this permeability can be both challenging and self-defeating. Export control regimes have become “leaky” and are much less effective than when the modern systems for con- trolling technologies were fi rst established in the post–World War II era. We also cycle through generations of technology more rapidly than ever before, especially for commercial applications. In fact, failing to cycle through generations quickly can lead to falling behind. Yet the global military-indus- trial complex is built on developing large, highly complex, and costly sys- tems over a long period of time and making periodic upgrades to stretch their life cycle. This results in platforms such as the F-35 fi ghter aircraft, fl own by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps that can trace its roots to the mid-1980s, was fi rst fl own in February 2006, and can be expected to remain operational until 2070. 5 Several questions underlie our discussions throughout this book. First, how did we arrive at this global technology fi ght? Second, how and where will it be waged? Finally, what can we do to prepare for the future? Tech Wars is not intended to be a book about corporate warfare for pri- macy in a certain technology space. Therefore, it does not seek to provide road maps for corporations to follow to gain advantages over competitors. Rather, it considers technology wars at the level of competition between
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