Strategic Planning Document -
National Security

1. The Vision

As we implement the President's science and technology priorities, the vision of the Committee for National Security is to better couple science and technology to the full spectrum of U.S. national security: enhancing our military effectiveness, strengthening our economy, and fostering global stability.

The advance of science and its successful application to human problems are hallmarks of the twentieth century. Influencing every aspect of our lives, science and technology also make vital contributions to national security. We must continue to apply our scientific resources to support freedom and secure a prosperous future for the American people.

Changes in the global political landscape brought on by the end of the Cold War have had profound effects on American security interests. The military threat itself has changed from a relatively monolithic one to a fragmented and uncertain set of potential regional threats at home and abroad. Science and technology are driving a revolution in military capability across a broad front of concepts, technologies and functions. This revolution, coupled with worldwide diffusion of technical knowledge and proliferation of weapons technology, raises new and unprecedented challenges to United States national security interests. No less profound changes have occurred in the economic security landscape. In the post-Cold War era, U.S. economic security interests are inseparable from our national security interests. In the years ahead, we must leverage to our benefit not only the possibilities offered by the synergy between military and economic strength, but also the value of investing in the prevention of conflict. Technological superiority has been and will continue to be a pillar of our national security strategy. Accordingly, we must maintain our ability to credibly deter and defeat aggression in the face of the new threats, new challenges, new demands, and new opportunities of the dynamic world in which we live.

Science and technology support national security in three important ways. First, technological superiority is a characteristic of our military advantage. Second, a vital high technology industrial sector enhances our nation's economic strength while providing the technology base that underpins future advanced military capabilities. Third, science and technology play a significant role in our efforts to build global stability and prevent conflict. International science and technology activities can encourage the development of free market democracies around the world, engaging them in the global economy, and helping to create new markets for U.S. goods and services. Science and technology can also help address global problems that are often at the root of conflict, such as overpopulation, poverty, environmental degradation, and disease.

The revolution in and proliferation of weapons technology and expanding security challenges in an environment of limited resources demand an integrated federal government strategy for addressing national security science and technology needs.