The global threat environment is changing. What makes the current period of transformation different from those in the past is that, for the foreseeable future, the threat environment will not resume a steady state dominated by one or more competing nations. Leveraging high-tech tools borrowed from the commercial marketplace, today’s international criminals, terrorists, and freedom fighters are able to project their agendas onto the world stage by threatening the institutions that underwrite global economic and political power.
In a threat environment where change is a constant and the rate of change is increasing, the conventional instruments of national power must evolve to become more agile. On the military front, this implies that commercial technology innovation and business best practices must be embraced to increase the velocity with which new capabilities and countermeasures are developed. In many respects, our adversaries around the world have seized the initiative relative to employing readily available technologies in a campaign of continuous experimentation to identify and exploit our vulnerabilities. Regaining the initiative will require a concentrated effort that questions many of the long standing conventions governing the Defense establishment and addresses the requirements for rapid technology innovation from an institutional rather than a reactive perspective.
As a Defense industry insider for the past 15-years, I have had the opportunity to observe first hand the fits and starts that have characterized the more recent attempts at defense transformation. This blog seeks to document my observations regarding the motives for Defense transformation (i.e. why we should care) along with prescriptions that would (hopefully) enable our Defense establishment to retain its decisive edge in the emerging age of irregular warfare.