ance of technology assessments, making the overall warning message regarding all products readily interpretable by any reader. The committee adopted and adapted the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)’s vocabulary to characterize the relative status—and recommended action—for each technology.

The second key feature is that, to be relevant, the study methodology must be tied in a fundamental way to top-level Department of Defense (DOD) strategies. For example, the committee reviewed Joint Vision 2020 (JCS, 2000) to validate its selection of the technology topics addressed in this report. In future studies, to facilitate integration into the larger body of intelligence materials, the committee proposes that technology selections be derived through a more disciplined, RED team2 review of top-level strategy documents (e.g., Joint Vision 2020) with an eye to identifying technologies that could be used to deny a BLUE3 capability deemed critical to U.S. military success.

The third key feature is that, to maintain focus and ensure timeliness, the study methodology must yield assessments built on a solid understanding of the technical feasibility of potential technology-based threats. This requirement leads to a capability-based approach for investigating and categorizing candidate technologies. Furthermore, the technical peer review process to which all NRC reports are subjected provides additional assurance of the technical quality of committee assessments.

Lastly, to be enduring, the methodology should accommodate evolving realities of science and technology (S&T) leadership, driven by the synergistic trends of globalization and commercialization described in Chapter 1. Traditionally, the United States has assumed that it leads the world in S&T. This perspective leads the technology warning community to look for indications that external actors are trying to “catch up,” or to exploit known technologies in new ways. Projected trends suggest that it should no longer automatically be assumed that the United States will lead technological advances in all relevant technologies. This reality imposes a new burden on the technology warning community, generating the need for it to search in different places and in different ways for the information needed to warn against technology surprise.

indicate that a prototype has been achieved. Technology Alert—An adversary has been identified and operational capability is known to exist.


“RED” is used in this report to denote the adversary or an adversarial perspective (e.g., “RED team”).


“BLUE” is used in this report to denote U.S. military forces.

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