Asymmetric Dialogue

As China's military masters artificial intelligence, why are we still building aircraft carriers?




Will the Pentagon, with its 30-year planning cycle for building ships, still be launching aircraft carriers in 2048 -- even though they're highly vulnerable to attack today? Real Clear Politics reports. Continue reading original article


That's an example of the military-modernization questions that kept nagging participants at the gathering earlier this month of the Aspen Strategy Group, which annually brings together top-level current and former national-security officials, along with a few journalists, to discuss defense and foreign policy.

This year's focus was on "Maintaining America's Edge" in the dawning era of high-tech combat, and the big takeaway was this: The future of warfare is now, and China is poised to dominate it. "It is not that we lack money. It is that we are playing a losing game," said Christian Brose, staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a paper presented to the group. "Our competitors are now using advanced technologies to erode our military edge. This situation is becoming increasingly dire."
Of the Pentagon's 2019 military budget, only .006 percent is targeted for science and technology, Brose says. The National Science Foundation estimates that in fiscal 2015, only 18 percent of the Pentagon's research and development budget went for basic, applied, and advanced research. Major systems claimed 81 percent.

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