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Will the Pentagon, with its 30-year planning cycle for building ships, still be launching aircraft carriers in 2048 – even though they're highly vulnerable to attack today? That's an example of the military-modernization questions that kept nagging participants at last weekend's gathering of the Aspen Strategy Group, which annually brings together top-level current and former national security officials, along with a few journalists, to discuss defense and foreign policy.They are being overtaken by advanced technology," argued Christian Brose, staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Instead, he said, the Pentagon needs a large number of inexpensive, unmanned, expendable, autonomous systems that can survive in the new electronic battle space and overwhelm any potential adversary.Brose calculates that in the Pentagon's initial request for $74 billion in new defense spending in fiscal 2019, only 0.006 percent was targeted for science and technology.Even when the Pentagon tries to push innovation, it often stumbles.
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