Defense and National Security
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As nations engage in a race for global advantage in innovation, ITIF champions a new policy paradigm that ensures businesses and national economies can compete successfully by spurring public and private investment in foundational areas such as research, skills, and 21st century infrastructure. Our work on defense and national security covers topics such as weapons systems, innovation in defense and homeland security agencies, and the role of defense R&D in spurring innovation and competitiveness.
Publications and Events
February 28, 2023|Blogs
Groupthink Is To Blame for Recent TikTok Bans
A growing number of countries have banned TikTok for alleged security threats. If the threat from China is real, a TikTok ban alone is too limited, but if the threat is overstated, these bans are a wasteful exercise in security theater. Either way, these bans are misguided.
February 3, 2023|Blogs
Time For Congress to Beef Up Funding for DIU’s National Security Innovation Capital Program
At the height of the Cold War, perhaps the most important U.S. national mission was to drive military innovation to ensure that the Soviet Union’s numerical superiority (in terms of soldiers and weapons) would not translate into superiority on the battlefield. The current geopolitical landscape presents a similar challenge in the United States’ rivalry with China, which is investing heavily to surpass the United States in technological capabilities to gain a global economic advantage and at least military parity in the Indo-Pacific region.
January 20, 2023|Blogs
America’s National Security Concerns Over China Shouldn’t Imperil Its Leadership in Technical Standards Development
In responding to China’s growing efforts to influence standards, the United States should not copy its approach to standards setting in closing off participation to foreign enterprises. Instead, the Biden administration and its like-minded trading partners in Australia, Japan, Singapore, and beyond should revert to first principles as agreed at the WTO and double down on their support for open, transparent, and industry-led standards development, which together demonstrates good governance for standards setting.
January 16, 2023|Op-Eds & Commentary
When Facts About China Change, Elites Should Change Their Views Too
China’s aspiration to become the new global hegemon calls into question the “Washington Consensus” that free markets and unfettered globalization maximize U.S. and global welfare. But for true believers, that is unacceptable. So, the idea China is a threat must be destroyed intellectually.
October 24, 2022|Blogs
Using Country-of-Origin as a Litmus Test for Drone Security Is Bad Policy
While intended to protect national security, the updated American Security Drone Act would still do little to bolster drone security and would limit government agencies from using some of the best-in-class drones.
July 1, 2022|Op-Eds & Commentary
Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Is a Paradigm Shift
The United States can no longer afford to trade U.S. market access for geopolitical alignment, and other nations can no longer afford to stay on the sidelines as the United States does the hard work of limiting China’s economic, technological, and foreign-policy aggression alone.
June 22, 2022|Op-Eds & Commentary
The World After Ukraine
Putin’s attack should galvanize real foreign policy, defense policy, and industrial policy cooperation among democratic, allied nations.
June 6, 2022|Podcasts
Podcast: When the Chips Are Down: Why Domestic Semiconductor Production Matters, With John Zysman
Rob and Jackie sat down with John Zysman, a professor emeritus at UC Berkeley and co-founder/co-director of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, to discuss why U.S. semiconductor production has dropped so far down, what it portends, and how America can regain its footing in the industry.
March 31, 2022|Op-Eds & Commentary
Breaking Up Big Tech Would Help Xi Jinping
The Biden administration and its “Neo-Brandeisian” supporters in Congress are seeking to break up large tech companies, but national-security-minded advisers warn it would strengthen America’s biggest adversary, China. They're right, just as an earlier generation of national security advisers was right to warn the Eisenhower administration against breaking up AT&T.
February 24, 2022|Op-Eds & Commentary
The SECRETS Act Adds a Critical New Defense Against IP Theft Threatening U.S. Tech Leadership
Acting against Chinese IP theft is a rare area of bipartisan support in U.S. trade policy, and the SECRETS Act provides a chance for U.S. policymakers and the Biden administration to take a stand against such parasitic practices by enacting a new law.