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Defense Science Board Task Force on the Roles and Authorities of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering

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Final rept.

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This Task Force was charged with examining future roles and authorities of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering DDRE. We considered these roles and authorities in the context of how technology contributes to meeting national security and defense objectives. An unsurpassed ability to understand and exploit the military implications of technology has long been a cornerstone of U.S. defense strategy. The success of the Department of Defense DOD in these areas has been enabled by technical leadership at high levels in the Department, world-class technical staff, and technology investments informed by long-term visions. However, we are concerned that DOD is not well-positioned today to meet new challenges and exploit new opportunities offered by technology. These opportunities and challenges include the following The implementation of critically important new operational capabilities, e.g., finding and tracking terrorists and insurgents assuring command, control, and communications networks providing protection to personnel and vehicles detecting and disabling nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The commercialization and globalization of technology makes it increasingly available for potential adversaries to use against our interests. On the other hand, DODs early access to these technologies is made more difficult as commercial technology moves offshore and is further hampered by Cold War-era research, development, and acquisition processes and practices. We are seeing adversaries able to turn technology into capability quicker than DODs acquisition processes allow.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Defense Systems
  • Radio Communications

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