Emerging Military Technologies: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated October 21, 2021]   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Summary: "Members of Congress and Pentagon officials are increasingly focused on developing emerging military technologies to enhance U.S. national security and keep pace with U.S. competitors. The U.S. military has long relied upon technological superiority to ensure its dominance in conflict and to underwrite U.S. national security. In recent years, however, technology has both rapidly evolved and rapidly proliferated--largely as a result of advances in the commercial sector. [...] This report provides an overview of selected emerging military technologies in the United States, China, and Russia: [1] artificial intelligence, [2] lethal autonomous weapons, [3] hypersonic weapons, [4] directed energy weapons, [5] biotechnology, and [6] quantum technology. It also discusses relevant initiatives within international institutions to monitor or regulate these technologies, considers the potential implications of emerging military technologies for warfighting, and outlines associated issues for Congress. These issues include the level and stability of funding for emerging technologies, the management structure for emerging technologies, the challenges associated with recruiting and retaining technology workers, the acquisitions process for rapidly evolving and dual-use technologies, the protection of emerging technologies from theft and expropriation, and the governance and regulation of emerging technologies. Such issues could hold implications for congressional authorization, appropriation, oversight, and treaty-making."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46458
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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