Defense acquisition policy has undergone significant reform over the past several years. The Biden administration will likely focus on implementing those reforms as it prioritizes developing emerging technologies and achieving domestic policy goals.
Artificial intelligence may be used in ways that do not directly involve or are not immediately recognizable to senior decisionmakers. These areas of AI application are far left of an operational decision or decision to launch and include four priority sectors: (1) security and defense; (2) intelligence activities and indications and warning; (3) modeling and simulation, optimization, and data analytics; and (4) logistics and maintenance.
The U.S. nuclear enterprise is going through a cycle of modernization that touches practically every system in the arsenal. This modernization push requires the nuclear enterprise to engage deeply with the defense acquisition system in a way it has not since its last major modernization cycle in the 1980s.
Control over the production of critical minerals necessary for defense manufacturing processes is a new feature of the escalating tensions between the United States and China. This report explores the state of the supply chain for rare earth elements, a type of critical mineral, the near-monopoly that China holds over it, and potential options for the United States to secure access to those minerals.