Keeping ahead of the Soviet Union technologically is a central element of U.S. national security strategy, and the Nation spends a large amount of money in order to do so. In recent years, however, there have been troubling indications that the U.S. technological lead is slipping, and that it is increasingly difficult to maintain a meaningful edge. These concerns-expressed both by the Administration and within Congress- prompted the Senate Committee on Armed Services to request that the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) undertake a major assessment on "Maintaining the Defense Technology Base. ' This special report is the first product of that assessment. It provides an overview of the subject, including specific concerns about the health of the defense technology base and the related issues before Congress. Subsequent reports will probe aspects of this immense problem in greater detail.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~ota