How the Pentagon’s fear of risk is stifling innovation
A “go slow” approach and an emphasis on accountability in tech acquisitions and beyond is well-intentioned and important, but it has the unintended consequence, according to some leaders in the private sector, of stifling innovation. According to this thinking, the pentagon’s continued desire to remain with past winners results not in conservative gains but in strategic losses. “The reality is that the decisions that we’re making today…are actually the riskiest possible decisions. It’s not that we’re doing the safe things…it’s actually less risky to take more contrarian positions,” argued one partner at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. “We do not have risk reduction,” declared the Executive Director with the Defense Innovation Board. “We have risk displacement. The status quo is a system that is not reducing risk, it is actually multiplying risk everywhere you look…we substitute meaningful accountability for accountability fear.” Complaints of this nature and the development of new policies and understandings will play an important role in the future of American technological superiority, especially in weapons programs, to China and Russia.