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Plotting the Future: Updating the DOD's Innovation Policy Gap to Reclaim Technological Leadership : Naval Postgraduate School , December , 2023

December 2023

Naval Postgraduate School

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From the abstract: "This research, covering 1982–2022, critically examines the U.S. DOD innovation policy leadership, analyzing the National Military Strategy (NMS) and National Defense Strategy (NDS) compared with the innovation strategies of leading U.S. businesses. It centers on Five Critical Innovation Areas: Flexible Organizational Structure, Agile Funding, Risk Tolerance, Minimal Security, and Customer-Centric Approach. The study uses a comparative analysis to benchmark DOD policies against advanced commercial entities' policies. It delves into the NMS and NDS, juxtaposing them with commercial innovation practices to pinpoint policy discrepancies and potential enhancement areas.Key findings highlight a pronounced lag in DOD's policy development, contrasting sharply with its pro-innovation rhetoric. This gap, persisting over four decades, impedes the DOD's ability to adapt to rapid technological changes and shifting national security landscapes. The study identifies a crucial need for DOD to transition to a more responsive and dynamic policy framework, especially in the face of evolving technologies like AI. Recommendations emphasize incorporating the Five Critical Innovation Areas into DOD policy to foster innovation. This aims to enhance the DOD's technological edge and strengthen U.S. national security. The study highlights the urgent need for the DOD to revitalize its policy approach, aligning national security goals with technological leadership in military policy."

Authors - LeBaron, Leland J.



LeBaron, Leland J.


Naval Postgraduate School


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