Thanks Tim for a very interesting and informative article. It’s a shame it displays the classic mindset of US military officials whereby today’s systemic problems are assumed away. For example, when it comes to assigning responsibility for mission errors (such as dropping ordnance on civilians) the Pentagon is outstanding at (a) first claiming no such thing happened, and then (b) shifting blame to some low-level person while exonerating everyone else. Human error is rife under combat conditions and it’s difficult to see how AI, even at today’s basic level of development, can be worse. Secondly, imagining that the USA has “political freedom” is hilarious given the reality of the situation: the wealthy and powerful buy influence every day, not least the large defense corporations; and our politicians are increasingly nothing more than mindless entertainers whose antics amuse the brainless mob. If this is one’s definition of “political freedom” then perhaps the concept needs to be reconsidered… As for trying to secure all supply chains for all essential modern technologies, this is a well-proven path to obsolescence, as the current fiasco over Huawei demonstrates clearly: now that the USA has banned everyone and their pet hamster from interacting with the Chinese company, the world of 5G (on which we will all depend) is being shaped by the Chinese alone. Given that the USA used to shape the direction of technologies via all the various standards bodies (that must now exclude Huawei) it’s a brilliant example of stupidity creating the very problem that policy makers fear most: US exclusion from leading-edge technologies and a slide into backwardness and irrelevance.

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