The report argues that the United States is in a fierce technology competition with China that is shaping the future of geopolitics and the contest between democracies and autocracies. “The PRC is the United States’ chief ideological opponent, largest economic competitor, most capable technology peer, and most threatening military rival. Technology is central to all parts of the competition,” said SCSP Board of Advisor Nadia Schadlow.
The report’s message is stark: the United States could lose the competition if dramatic action is not taken across a broad range of public policy arenas to invest in U.S. technology advantages, strengthen the techno-industrial base, and deploy disruptive technologies democratically and responsibly. “The United States needs a technology center strategy,” SCSP CEO Ylli Bajraktari argued. “We cannot keep playing catch-up like we have on 5G and microelectronics supply chains. The United States needs to organize, make strategic tech bets, help resource technology sectors and applications, and adapt our national security tools.”
The report is the result of four board meetings, 26 panel meetings that included more than 225 experts, government officials, academic leaders, and many others, and more than 400 engagements. It is not a ‘consensus’ report, but the culmination of the SCSP staff’s work up to this point and its effort to synthesize the wealth of information gathered from all of the individuals and entities with which they have engaged or consulted. “Our goal is to connect everything we do to the interests and concerns of the American people. Our success hinges on Americans recognizing the urgency and stakes of the competition,” said SCSP Board of Advisor Mac Thornberry.
SCSP grew from the congressionally-mandated National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). The project’s mission is to make recommendations to strengthen America’s long-term competitiveness for a future where artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies reshape our national security, economy, and society. “America needed a new strategy to deal with a range of new opportunities and challenges presented by emerging technologies. And it must be built in bipartisan fashion,” said SCSP Chairman Eric Schmidt. “SCSP is an effort to contribute new ideas and drive action.”
Competition is SCSP’s guiding principle. “America has proven to be a formidable competitor. It must do so again to help frame the three major dynamics shaping our world: geopolitical rivalry; technological transformation; and the ideological contest between democracy and autocracy,” said SCSP Board of Advisor Bob Work.
“SCSP’s goal is to produce implementable solutions to the challenges faced by the United States and that we outline in the report. Technology is evolving rapidly and action must be taken to ensure we don’t lose this competition with China,” said SCSP Board of Advisor Michèle Flournoy.