This Wednesday the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee will meet to consider the Defense Department's approach to research and innovation. Alan Shaffer, the acting assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, and Arati Prabhakar, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will testify. The top research and engineering officials from each of the military services will appear as well.
Late last month, Shaffer's office released a strategy report on how defense research and engineering should move ahead during the coming decades. The report states that DOD and the nation are at a crossroads as defense budgets are decreasing while the "complexity and depth of national security challenges are growing."
The report lays out some of the challenges facing the research community:
As the nation is emerging from over a decade of focusing on countering terrorism and insurgency, new national security challenges are emerging -- cyber operations, advanced electronic warfare, proliferation of ballistic missiles for both strategic and tactical intent, contested space, and networked integrated air defenses. At the same time, the Department is shifting to a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, a region with unique geographic and cultural features.