04 September 2009

Not Easily Imitated

Ever since I wrote the nightmare fiction story Acquisition As Deterrent, I've been a little bit haunted by the thought that it might be true. In fact, when the idea first hit me, it came down on my head like a ton of bricks and sorta bummed me out.

What if the reason for all the complexity, cost and delay in military technology projects is to prevent the rest of the world from imitating us?

Well, that still might be the case, but if so, it's a bad reason. The thing is, the FIST approach is not easily imitated, because the US has such direct access to a wide range of mature, advanced technology, compliments of our various military laboratories, etc.

So, the hostile dude in some other part of the world who wants to use the FIST approach is starting off with a significant disadvantage, in terms of the pieces and parts available to use. Yeah, the barriers to accessing and adopting technology are lowering, but we've still got a significant advantage.

And then there's the whole personnel part, the training, talent, education, courage and creativity of the people who actually develop and use these systems. That's pretty hard to imitate.

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