Five decades ago, the Manhattan project highlighted the power of science and technology and dramatically changed our nation's approach to security. Since that time the essential role of science and technology in assuring the security of our nation has bec become increasingly apparent, as the challenges to our security have become far more diverse. In addition to sustaining our military readiness, we must seek to reduce existing nuclear arsenals, limit the spread of weapons of mass destruction, address threats to society such as emerging diseases and environmental degradation, and keep vital the economy that is the source of much of our strength and influence. Our strategy for national security has evolved beyond a focus on weapons to a focus on the prevention of conflict. Advances in science and technology have enabled this transition by enhancing our ability to identify, understand, address, and plan around a wide range of threats to our society.
Successfully meeting today's challenges to our national security also requires enhanced engagement with other nations, rather than a retreat to isolationism. Today we have the potential to use science and technology to reach out to former adversaries, create new partnerships and develop the basis for working together. Advances in science and technology promote the integration of economies and our interests.
However, the work of preventing conflict requires a steady and long-term commitment and an engaged constituency. As our government and others face tightening budgets, we must not lose sight of the need to sustain our investments in our nation's security and global stability. Retreating from our efforts in prevention today invites the greater danger of crisis in the future. The challenge before us is to build an understanding of the importance of a comprehensive strategy for our security, to invest where
Office of Science and Technology Policy
National Security and International Affairs Division: (202) 465-6055