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Ashton Carter: Pentagon Should Boost R&D Efforts to Remain Competitive

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said the Defense Department needs to innovate in order to be competitive amid the five global challenges the U.S. currently faces, DoD News reported Tuesday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes Carter said at a Commonwealth Club event in San Francisco Tuesday that terrorism, Russia, North Korea, China and Iran are the evolving challenges that drive DoD’s budgeting and planning efforts.

He said the Pentagon’s budget for fiscal 2017 will allocate $71.8 billion in funds for research and development efforts in such areas as cybersecurity, hypersonic missiles, autonomy, undersea platforms, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Carter also discussed DoD’s three missions in the field of cyberspace at the event.

These include the need to safeguard DoD’s weapons systems and networks from cyber threats, boost other federal agencies’ defenses against international cyber attacks and launch an offensive cyber campaign in times of conflict, the report said.

Carter told his audience that the department will use a portion of its budget to establish and train Cyber Mission Forces that will help DoD track cyber threat actors and conduct forensics in order to keep its data infrastructure secure.

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