Analysis & Opinions - Real Clear Defense

AI and Quantum Supremacy Will Not Defeat Revolutionary Warfare

| Nov. 13, 2019

Google's recent "Quantum Breakthrough" is great for American science but irrelevant for foreseeable conflict.  It is ironic that "quantum supremacy" emerged in late October while America conceded its small but stabilizing position in Syria.  The Syria decision is understandably construed as unwise because it relieves pressure on ISIS, forfeits a presence now occupied by Russia, and it provides Iran a corridor to Hezbollah in Lebanon.  As it currently stands, the U.S. may possess the most advanced computing power known to humankind. Still, none of it ensures commitment to allies, such as Kurds forsaken by the United States, let alone the formation of wise foreign policy elsewhere.  Quantum supremacy, A.I., and other technological advancements will not compensate for commitments and partnerships we abandon. 

The dissonance between advancing technology and retreating political commitments to allies should buzz between the ears.  The problem is also embodied by the fact that, while the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) poses over a dozen essential and enduring questions on A.I.'s future, the most basic components of warfare — political rationale for operations and partnered cooperation — are kicked to the curb....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Moir, Nathaniel L.“AI and Quantum Supremacy Will Not Defeat Revolutionary Warfare.” Real Clear Defense, November 13, 2019.