February 23, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today submitted the following opening statement for the record during today's SASC hearing on "Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on National Security:"
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Schmidt, Mr. Smith and General Carlisle. Thank you for being here to talk about this important topic today.
As highlighted in the 2018 National Defense Strategy Commission report, the US must stay ahead in several emerging technologies to maintain or regain a warfighting advantage against China and Russia.
Some of those key technologies are Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, Hypersonics, Emerging Biotechnologies and Quantum Computing, and Directed Energy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Department of Defense emerging biotechnology research, including that done over the last decade at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (known as DARPA) has been critical in fostering new technologies that have been critical in vaccine and therapeutic development in this pandemic.
I am looking forward to hearing our witnesses talk today about what technologies are most important for us to adopt for our warfighters to be best prepared for the future.
Russia and China are aggressively developing these capabilities, and, in some cases, we are already behind or falling behind. Without action, the US may find itself at a technological disadvantage in future conflicts.
However, the challenges facing the Department of Defense are not just about developing new technologies, but the Department must also reform its processes, policies and culture to be able to more quickly adopt and deploy new technologies—all while making sure that we are balancing the need to modernize our military capabilities with maintaining near-term readiness.
Thank you for appearing, and I look forward to your testimony.