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Defense and Intelligence

For DOD Official, Continuing Innovation Key to Staying Ahead of China

Kathleen Hicks

Deputy Secretary

Department of Defense

For DOD Official, Continuing Innovation Key to Staying Ahead of China

Department of Defense Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks, a 2023 Wash100 Awardee, said on Tuesday during the Ash Carter Exchange on Innovation and National Security event that the Department of Defense should not become complacent and instead continue to innovate in order to maintain the military strategic advantage of the United States in light of the rapid advancement of China in emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence. Hicks said the U.S. should be persistent in gaining an advantage over the challenge posed by China and with urgency make use of defense innovation as a critical tool, the Department of Defense said.

Hicks said the country must be prepared to strategically bring together operators, intelligence analysts and technologists and come up with a warfighter-centric culture to overcome persistent threats. She said there must be a cultural overhaul at the DOD to overcome barriers to innovation, which include risk aversion, workforce gaps, inefficient and bureaucratic investment processes and delayed appropriations.

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