The Global Struggle for Tech Mastery
Several key events in 2022 showed that the technology platforms of the future are the new terrain of strategic competition. The United States and its allies must recognize that they have a fundamental interest in ensuring these technologies are designed, built, fielded, and governed by democracies.
PALO ALTO – The past year offered some old lessons about great-power competition. But it also introduced some new ones about how technology is changing the strategic terrain.
There is no longer any doubt about the challenge that China, Russia, and other authoritarian regimes pose to international rule of law, respect for sovereignty, democratic principles, and free people. These threats have grown as China and Russia have harnessed new technologies to surveil populations, manipulate information, and control data flows. They are setting an example for how authoritarians can further clamp down on freedom of thought, expression, and association. China’s draconian zero-COVID measures may yet test that control, but its use of technologies like drones to monitor quarantine adherence represent a new era of digital repression.
Rising geopolitical tensions have coincided with growing encroachments by disruptive technologies into all aspects of public and private life. The implications for 2023 and beyond are clear: the technology platforms of the future are the new terrain of strategic competition. The United States therefore has a core interest in making sure that these technologies are designed, built, fielded, and governed by democracies.
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