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Army chief pushes back on former software chief’s claim US lost the technology battle to China

WashingtonExaminer
WashingtonExaminer
 2021-10-14

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The Army's chief information officer contradicted another former top official who recently argued that the United States has already lost the technology battle to China .

Nicolas Chaillan, who recently resigned from his position as the chief software officer of the Air Force , argued that “we have no competing fighting change against China in 15 to 20 years,” while Army Chief Information Officer Raj Iyer rejected that characterization, saying it’s “absolutely not true.”

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Iyer referenced the Pentagon’s “tight integration” with the industry and noted that the U.S. and its partners “trade intelligence information and other things" during the Association of the U.S. Army 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition, according to Breaking Defense .

“I can tell you the Chinese don’t have that,” he added. “They’re operating in a vacuum, and they’re relying on nefarious methods and cyberattacks to be able to get to, you know, what they think they know that we have.”

Despite pushing back on Chaillan's assessment, Iyer acknowledged China's artificial intelligence capabilities.

“They do a really good job of maintaining control people using AI," he said. "Obviously, we don’t do that in United States, but if you looked at both what we have in the Department of Defense and intelligence community, across the federal government and our industrial partners, we have the best AI technology.”

Chaillan recently argued that the emerging technological advances and developments pose a much more important aspect to defense than what is commonly thought of as military hardware, such as fighter jets.

"Right now, it’s already a done deal. It is already over in my opinion,” he told the Financial Times last week, adding there is “good reason to be angry.” Some of the U.S. cyber-defense systems are at a “kindergarten level,” he said, noting that China is angling to dominate the military sphere in the future.

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Chaillan, in a LinkedIn post last month, said that after the birth of his twin children last year, he “realize[d] more clearly than ever before that, in 20 years from now, our children, both in the United States’ and our Allies’, will have no chance competing in a world where China has the drastic advantage of population over the U.S."

"A lack of response” from Department of Defense leadership was “certainly a contributor to my accelerated exit," he added.

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