Il declino dell’innovazione militare americana

NEW YORK – Gli Stati Uniti rischiano di perdere il proprio vantaggio militare. Forse le forze armate dell’America sono ancora le più avanzate del mondo; in fin dei conti, gli Usa spendono più di due volte in ricerca e sviluppo militare delle maggiori potenze come Francia e Russia, e nove volte più della Cina e della Germania. Ma la continua leadership tecnologica dell’America non è del tutto scontata.

Dal 2005 il Dipartimento americano per la Difesa ha tagliato la spesa in R&D del 22%. Nel 2013, come parte di un accordo per evitare un conflitto rispetto al tetto del debito, il Congresso americano ha assegnato 1,2 trilioni di dollari ai tagli automatici alla spesa. La manovra, che richiede una riduzione della spesa in numerosi programmi, incluse molte iniziative in ricerca per la difesa, è stata descritta dall’amministrazione del presidente Barack Obama come “profondamente distruttiva per la sicurezza nazionale”. Se l’innovazione americana sul fronte della difesa continuerà a erodersi, non solo ne soffriranno le capacità difensive dell’America, ma il Paese stesso rischierà di scivolare in termini di innovazione commerciale e competitività.

Le limitazioni di budget pongono alcune grandi sfide agli sforzi profusi dal settore militare americano per mantenere il proprio vantaggio tecnologico. L’Esercito e la Missile Defense Agency sono stati duramente colpiti, laddove la spesa per R&D si è quasi dimezzata dal 2005. Il budget per la ricerca della Marina è stato tagliato del 20%, e la Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – l’organizzazione che ha il compito di mantenere le capacità tecnologiche statunitensi al passo – ha dovuto decurtare la spesa per R&D del 18%. Anche l’Air Force, dove la spesa per la ricerca è sempre stata per tradizione una priorità del Congresso, ha dovuto tagliare il budget all’incirca del 4%.

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