The Hill warned that China is slowly outperforming the U.S. military's technology excellence.
Retired Admiral Mark Montgomery, who serves as senior director of the Center for Cyber and Technology Innovation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, began his article by saying that the future of war and the military capabilities it requires are beginning to take center place as the war rages in Ukraine.
Montgomery pointed out that Moscow is looking to re-modernize its stockpile of high-tech missiles, at a time when the United States and China are working to escalate the pace of geopolitical maneuvers against each other, which the author sees as a development that portends the possibility of conflict between them in the future.
As a result, U.S. policymakers should constantly assess how their country's technological advantages over adversaries can be maintained.
Montgomery stressed that this strategy should focus in part on advanced technology to support the U.S. military.
Beijing, for example, is determined to fully modernize its military by 2027, even as Washington takes steps to limit that country's access to U.S. technology that would help make that modernization possible.
Semiconductor chips appear on a computer circuit board in this illustration (Reuters)
Open source processor
But for that step to make a difference, America needs to address the role that open-source design development plays in the semiconductor industry.
Perhaps one troubling example, the admiral says, is that U.S. enemies are developing an open-source chip design architecture that could serve a variety of end-use applications, including dual-use technologies that power tools such as artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and surveillance technology.
But little attention has yet been paid to the architecture of open-source chips, or Beijing's interest in being a leader in producing these chips, which would ultimately reduce its reliance on Western-controlled chips.
Although recent U.S. competitive measures against China – such as export controls and foreign investment screening – have taken steps to control Beijing's access to advanced semiconductor technology, there is still an urgent need for the U.S. government to outline a strategy that fills gaps in open-source technology.
Montgomery asserts that in any future conflict, the United States wants to maintain its superiority in the field of these complex chips that power military technologies.
First, Congress educates the public and puts pressure on the national security apparatus about the implications of America's enemies developing and exploiting open-source technology.
Another suggestion is that the Commerce and Defense departments should work together on a strategy to close gaps in export controls and prevent U.S. citizens from helping China and Russia, especially develop an open-source chip design architecture.