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Policy

Defense Research Needs Greater Global Reach

by Andrea Widener
July 7, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 27

The Department of Defense needs a new strategy to keep up with science and technology developments worldwide or it risks losing its technological competence, a new National Research Council report says. “The DOD has long relied on its historical technological superiority to maintain a military advantage,” says Ruth David, cochair of the committee that wrote the report. But that won’t be enough to keep up as U.S. research becomes a smaller share of worldwide R&D. Although the Army, Air Force, and Navy have some global outreach efforts, they are not well integrated into the military’s larger research enterprise. The report recommends loosening restrictions that prevent DOD scientists from participating in the larger international research community by, for example, attending conferences abroad. It also suggests more international collaborative research projects.

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