Lynn Gives Opening Keynote at Conference

Lynn Gives Opening Keynote at Conference

April 5, 2018

CEO Bill Lynn delivered the opening keynote address recently at the Center for a New American Security's "Envisioning the Future Force" event in Washington, D.C.

Building the Future Force

Hosted by CNAS CEO Toria Nuland, the former U.S. ambassador to NATO, the event was used to kickoff the release of a new CNAS report: "Building the Future Force: Guaranteeing American leadership in a contested environment." The closing keynote was made by U.S. Deputy Defense Secy. Patrick Shanahan

"We are living in an era of disruptive technological innovation," Lynn said. "For centuries, the most economically developed nations wielded the most potent military power, while developing countries and insurgent groups had little or no access to highly lethal weapons. Today, that linear relationship between economic power and military might no longer holds true." Lynn pointed out that terrorists can defeat advanced U.S. armor with fertilizer bombs, small groups of programmers can develop first-strike cyber capabilities and rogue states are acquiring nuclear weapons. "Today, lethality at the low end of the spectrum can rival that at the high end," Lynn said.

Lynn, a former U.S. deputy defense secretary, forecasted that with so many high-end and low-end threats, America's future force must have a suite of capabilities to maximize versatility across the widest spectrum of conflict in history.

The Future Force report envisions a wave of new and emerging U.S. defense technologies and military capabilities, including:

  • Thousands of space and airborne ISR platforms networked into constellations that are aided by Artificial Intelligence;
  • Robotic swarms networked together for lethal attacks or intelligence collection;
  • Hypersonic weapons at speeds greater than Mach 5 fired by electromagnetic rail guns;
  • Directed energy and high-power microwave weapons;
  • Manned and unmanned stealth bombers for long-range strike

Organizations like the Center for A New American Security bring government and industry together to analyze the U.S. response to complex national security issues. Leonardo DRS sponsored three recent CNAS studies:

  • "Creative Disruption" focused on the globalization of the defense industry and the huge impact of commercial technology on the military.
  • "While We Can" looked at military modernization.
  • "Future Foundry" recommended the defense industry's response to the impact of commercial technology on defense.

Lynn warned against complacency, noting that many defense analysts and policymakers believe the U.S. will always enjoy a technological edge in war. Refraining Defense Secy. James Mattis's warning that "Victory is not our birthright," Lynn said he is just as confident that America's ability to create technology advantages on the battlefield remains "unparalleled."