Thesis or dissertation
Date of this Version
Sarah E. Light
The intersection between the U.S. military and technological innovation, a “military-innovation nexus,” has led to the genesis of key technologies, including nuclear energy, general computing, GPS, and satellite technology from World War II to the present. However, an evolving innovation context in the twenty-first century, including the leadership of the commercial sector in technology innovation and the resurgence of great power competition, has led to doubts about the ability of the Department of Defense to discover and promote the technological innovations of the future. The Third Offset Strategy was formulated in 2014 in response to these concerns: The offset strategy promulgated reforms to bring the Pentagon and the commercial sector closer together while creating alternative contracting mechanisms for streamlined procurement and prototyping. Using defense biometrics and artificial intelligence as case studies of spin-on innovations adopted by the military, this Article seeks to understand the efficacy of the reforms undertaken under the auspices of the Third Offset Strategy to improve the institutional underpinnings of the U.S. innovation system for national security. I argue that the Third Offset Strategy has allowed the Pentagon to more effectively procure, develop, and field commercial technologies in the twenty-first century, and I conclude by proposing modest recommendations for the successful acquisition of spin-on innovations.
U.S. military, defense innovation, military innovation, spin-on, technology adoption, Department of Defense, Third Offset Strategy, biometrics, artificial intelligence, great power competition, procurement
Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics Commons, Defense and Security Studies Commons, Government Contracts Commons, Military and Veterans Studies Commons, Military, War, and Peace Commons, National Security Law Commons, Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration Commons, Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation Commons, President/Executive Department Commons, Public Policy Commons, Science and Technology Law Commons, Science and Technology Policy Commons
Date Posted: 20 May 2020