Slowing down to keep the lead in military technology
Blanken, Leo J.
Leopore, Jason J.
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We develop a model of military technology competition among states. States can choose to introduce new military technology, mimic rivals’ level of technology, or withdraw from the contest. States can choose to implement any level of technology within their current feasible technologies. We find that states with significant technological leads should sometimes withhold new technologies, only strategically releasing them to trump rivals’ efforts. We develop the model by refining Admiral Jackie Fisher’s roughly articulated concept of ‘plunging’. We then use this refined argument to reanalyze the case of naval rivalries among European powers between the Crimean War and the First World War. Finally, we conclude by discussing the model’s implications for current US military force structure planning.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10242694.2010.491675
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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