Maintaining Military
Advantage Through Science and
Technology Investment

National defense is fundamental to the President's National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. In pursuing its military strategy, the Administration faces the dual challenge of readying U.S. forces to address a more diverse set of threats while at the same time downsizing and restructuring our forces to respond to the defense needs of the 21st century. The Administration has launched a series of initiatives designed to capture and apply science and technology to respond to these challenges, focusing on the following objectives: supporting our military forces in the range of missions they can be assigned, reducing acquisition costs, and nurturing a healthy national science and technology infrastructure to spawn innovation and the vital industrial capacity to capitalize on it.

Science, Technology, and Military Strength

Our defense science and technology investment enables us to counter military threats and to overcome any advantages that adversaries may seek. It also expands the military options available to policymakers, including options other than warfare in pursuing the objectives of promoting stability and preventing conflict. Science and technology help to counter special threats such as terrorism that cannot be met by conventional warfighting forces, and they underpin the intelligence capabilities necessary to assess the dangers our nation faces. The U.S. military also relies on science and technology to make our advanced military systems more affordable through their entire life cycle. And by maintaining a close dialogue with the warfighters, the defense S&T community not only remains sensitive to user needs but also sensitizes the user to the possibilities that technology offers for responding to evolving threats.

U.S. military capabilities not only protect the United States and its citizens from direct threats, they also help maintain peace and stability in regions critical to U.S. interests and underwrite U.S. defense commitments around the world. Maintaining a strong defense capability means that the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Department of Defense more broadly, must be prepared to conduct the following kinds of missions, as described in the President's national security strategy:

Finally, to meet all these requirements successfully, U.S. forces must be capable of responding quickly and operating effectively across a wide range of environments. That is, they must be ready to fight. Such high combat readiness demands well qualified and motivated people; adequate amounts of modern, well-maintained equipment; realistic training; strategic mobility; and sufficient support and sustainment capabilities.

The science and technology programs that support our military forces are conducted primarily by the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Intelligence Community-with contributions from many other Federal agencies. The following strategy elements guide our overall science and technology investment: