James Bond or Jack Bauer? Two Models for Security Tech Policy

Publicly and behind closed doors, an increasingly vocal faction of experts claims we need an Apollo-type program to create new technologies for homeland security and military force protection. Some may miss the days — and the model — of the Bell Labs. Some are unreformed Cold Warriors — the Manhattan Project is their analogy.

All are well intentioned, but all are quite wrong. These models are a mistake for two reasons: Today the character of the threats, and the nature of innovation, is vastly different.