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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) was founded in 1983 as a multi-campus research unit serving the entire University of California system. IGCC addresses global challenges to peace and prosperity through academically rigorous, policy-relevant research, training, and outreach on international security, economic development, and the environment. IGCC brings scholars together across social science and lab science disciplines to work on topics such as regional security, nuclear proliferation, innovation and national security, development and political violence, emerging threats, and climate change.

As the University of California’s system-wide institute on international security, IGCC convenes expert researchers across UC campuses and the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, along with US and international policy leaders, to develop solutions and provide insights on many of the most profound global security challenges. IGCC disseminates its research findings through its website, weekly newsletters, research briefs, working papers, books, and articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Cover page of North Korea’s Approach to Defense Innovation: Foreign Absorption, Domestic Innovation, and the Nuclear and Ballistic Weapons Industrial Base

North Korea’s Approach to Defense Innovation: Foreign Absorption, Domestic Innovation, and the Nuclear and Ballistic Weapons Industrial Base

(2018)

The international community has consistently underestimated North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities. How has an economically impoverished, technologically backward, and internationally isolated state been able to establish robust and increasingly competent nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, especially since the mid-2010s? Has North Korea predominantly relied on foreign sources of technology or are its nuclear and missile programs the result of domestic effort? Even when technologies have been borrowed, a detailed analysis of the evolution of the programs suggests sustained domestic investment has proven crucial. The result is a far-flung and large weapons of mass destruction (WMD) infrastructure. Any negotiations over the program must take the extent of this infrastructure into account and consider the challenges of how to inspect, verify, and limit them, including through repurposing these capabilities to civilian uses.

Cover page of New Frontiers of Chinese Defense Innovation: Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies

New Frontiers of Chinese Defense Innovation: Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies

(2018)

Will the Chinese military succeed in advancing new frontiers of defense innovation? China has already emerged as a powerhouse in artificial intelligence and quantum technologies. The continued advances in these dual-use technologies may be leveraged for military applications pursuant to a national strategy of military-civil fusion. At this point, the trajectory of technological developments is uncertain, and considerable challenges remain to the actualization of deeper fusion of China’s defense and commercial sectors. However, if successful, China’s ambitions to lead in these strategic technologies could enable it to pioneer new paradigms of military power.

Cover page of Military-Technological Innovation in Small States: The Cases of Israel and Singapore

Military-Technological Innovation in Small States: The Cases of Israel and Singapore

(2018)

Israel and Singapore are both countries with small populations and no strategic depth, and both see technology as a crucial force multiplier when it comes to national security. Israel, however, has been much more successful than Singapore in developing a range of indigenous military-technological innovations. The reasons are both geostrategic and cultural. Israel faces a much more looming and imminent threat which demands more military-technological innovation. Moreover, Israel’s informal and anti-hierarchical society is much more supportive than Singapore’s when it comes to risk-taking and experimentation.

Cover page of The Very Healthy US Defense Innovation System

The Very Healthy US Defense Innovation System

(2018)

The US defense innovation system enjoys tremendous advantages that other countries cannot readily replicate. It has accumulated capabilities over decades of funding and experimentation that dwarf other countries’ efforts, and the incentives to innovate in the United States are not easily replicable elsewhere. The unique US political system favors substitution of technology for labor, openness to new ideas, and competition among decentralized organizations to solve national security challenges. The constant worrying that the United States is losing its defense innovation advantages is simply part of the politics that keep the United States far, far ahead of its potential rivals.

Cover page of Assessing the State of Understanding of Defense Innovation

Assessing the State of Understanding of Defense Innovation

(2018)

The central focus in this brief is to make sense of different approaches to defense innovation by determining whether there are general patterns and characteristics that offer insights into questions such as why some states are able to pursue innovation at a faster rate or more advanced level than others, and the essential ingredients for successful innovation. This brief seeks to develop an understanding of the relationship between defense innovation and military innovation, and more specifically the linkages and interaction between the defense innovation system and the military establishment.

Cover page of The Israeli Approach to Defense Innovation

The Israeli Approach to Defense Innovation

(2018)

The brief reflects on the evolution of the Israeli approach to military innovation and describes its proclivities, in order to enable comparative analysis and a more generalizable analytical framework. It first describes the structural factors that account for the Israeli fixation on the military-industrial complex and defense innovation; then it outlines the social-organizational factors, which have enabled and conditioned its realization. It concludes with an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Israeli approach and a review of recent trends.

Cover page of Critical Factors in Enabling Defense Innovation: A Systems Perspective

Critical Factors in Enabling Defense Innovation: A Systems Perspective

(2018)

This brief provides an analytical framework to identify, categorize, and assess the diverse array of factors that are involved in the pursuit of defense innovation, as viewed through an innovation ecosystem prism. Defense innovation systems are engaged in highly complex, time-consuming and resource-intensive work. Many of the insights from this framework are derived from an extensive examination into the state of innovation in the contemporary Chinese defense science, technology, andindustrial system, examined in more detail in Brief 2018-3 in this series.

Cover page of Russian Defense Innovation in the 2010s

Russian Defense Innovation in the 2010s

(2018)

Innovation in the Russian defense industry has drawn significant international attention since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state of the nation address of March 1, 2018. While the first part of the address covered the usual ground of planned economic policies, the second part was an extended presentation of Russian defense industry achievements. What Putin left outwas as important as what he highlighted, and provides a clear picture of Russia’s prioritization of radical over incremental innovation, sometimes to the detriment of current battlefield readiness. This research brief discusses Russia’s successes and failures in modernizing its weapons systems since 2000.

Cover page of A Quest for Autonomy and Excellence: The Defense Innovation Systems of France and Sweden

A Quest for Autonomy and Excellence: The Defense Innovation Systems of France and Sweden

(2018)

The defense innovation systems (DIS) in France and Sweden have longstanding traditions of domestic innovation and high self-reliance, but they differ greatly in how they have achieved these ambitions. France has almost complete self-reliance in defense technology and close government control of activities contributing to defense innovation and regarding the defense industry. In France, there is considerable state ownership, and foreign ownership is blocked. In contrast, Sweden has delimited its breadth of sovereign technology development since the 1990s, and now expresses three "essential security interests": fighter aircraft, underwater capability, and cyber. This research brief describes what characterizes the present defense innovation systems in these countries, discusses their similarities and differences, and points out factors that have led to their success.

Cover page of Examining India’s Defense Innovation Performance

Examining India’s Defense Innovation Performance

(2018)

India has expended a great deal of energy and resources to set up a vast defense economy to innovate and produce state-of-the-art weapon systems for use by the armed forces. However, the performance of the defense economy has been largely suboptimal, leading to poor self-reliancein arms procurement and heavy dependence on foreign sources for meeting the key defense requirements. An examination of the causes of poor performance exhibits a number of  hortcomings related to India’s both 'hard' and 'soft' innovation capacities. Inefficiency and lack of reforms of the main research and development (R&D) and manufacturing players, meager R&D and procurement budgets, poor management of human resources, lack of strong support from the political leadership, and a weak acquisition system, leave India’s defense innovation in a poor state.