National Security In A Digital World
August 31, 2021 – The digital revolution of recent decades has transformed nearly all facets of life—not least the national security environment. The volume and mass transmission of digitized information has pushed the velocity of decision-making to the limits of human capacity. National security policymakers, both civilian and military, have access to unprecedented quantities of information in near real-time. However, processing, vetting, and filtering that information has emerged as a formidable challenge. Digitization has rendered information not only an invaluable resource but a potential weapon in the global competition for power and influence. Technological democratization has empowered previously marginalized and excluded groups and non-state actors, significantly complicating the global security environment. Leaders will struggle to keep up with the furious pace of artificial intelligence and machine learning as they increasingly dominate the battlespace. Mastering the arts of peace and war in the digital world will be the epic challenge of the 21st century.
Technology is the new frontier of international relations. The interaction is bi-directional: technology is defining diplomatic matters while diplomacy is also influencing the development and deployment of technology. Take semiconductors as an example. This is a technology that forms the foundation of digital economy, national security, and productivity in almost all industries. Global supply chain in the semiconductor industry is shaping U.S. foreign policy. Conversely, America’s diplomatic effort has been redefining the supply chain. Tech diplomacy is different from science diplomacy, which became a key pillar for the U.S. and other countries since World War II. Scientists participated in treaty negotiations, engaged in bilateral summits and served as attachés at embassies. Primary topics included nuclear proliferation, super-collider construction, human space exploration and environmental science.
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