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CNAS: DoD Should Implement ‘Optionality Strategy’ to Maintain Technological Edge

The Center for a New American Security has said the Defense Department should adopt a new strategic approach that seeks to expand technical and military options through a diverse set of concepts and capabilities in order to maintain technological advantage.

CNAS made the recommendation in the report “Future Foundry: A New Strategic Approach to Military-Technical Advantage” published Wednesday.

The implementation of such a strategic approach, also known as “optionality strategy,” would facilitate policy and institutional reforms within DoD as well as the development of new policies that would help promote collaboration with industry partners, CNAS noted.

The optionality strategy calls for the Pentagon to establish a “diverse portfolio of capability options” through investments in technology platforms coupled with “diverse concepts of operation” as well as shift technological competition towards access to innovation and industry centers, concept developers and military chiefs.

CNAS also recommended for DoD to develop a policy that would advance partnerships with four industry segments that are responsible for the production of military systems with “constrained competition” such as submarines and aircraft carriers and military platforms with “viable competition” that include armored vehicles and combat aircraft.

The two other industry segments include those that produce military adapted commercial platforms and “purely commercial technology” that includes mobile devices and software, according to the report.

Ben FitzGerald, director of the technology and national security program at CNAS, co-wrote the report with Alexandra Sander, a research associate at CNAS’ technology and national security program; and Jacqueline Parziale, a researcher at CNAS’ technology and national security program.

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