Strategic Balancing Initiative

Understanding and anticipating the positive and negative security effects of emerging, disruptive technologies on the international balance of power.

As geopolitics are increasingly driven by techno-industrial competition, assessments of competitor capabilities must go beyond traditional weaponry to effectively inform strategic level decision-making. The U.S. government still lacks clarity on much of what occurs in these battlegrounds of tech innovation—and it must catch up on strategic and operational levels. Closer collaboration with the U.S. private sector will result in robust and rapid development on these fronts.

Increased collaboration necessitates familiarity with the best-placed experts, an ability to actually drive deep technical conversations, and the capacity to build trusted venues for technologists and national security policymakers. As such, the Institute for Security and Technology is improving public-private partnership in the face of strategic competition through the Strategic Balancing Initiative (SBI). SBI’s mission is to understand and anticipate the positive and negative security effects of emerging, disruptive technologies on the international balance of power, within states, and between governments and industries by ideating and integrating novel solutions to technology-driven security vulnerabilities across U.S. innovation and economic ecosystems.

“On Dec. 1, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin established the Office of Strategic Capital with the mission of building “an enduring technological advantage by partnering with private capital providers.” The true test of the well-intentioned office will be whether it has sufficient impact on the American innovation ecosystem.”
– Pentagon’s Office of Strategic Capital Must Win Over Silicon Valley, Leah Walker and Alexa Wehsener

Strategic Balancing Initiative Fact Sheets

Strategic Balancing Initiative in the News

Pentagon’s Office of Strategic Capital must win over Silicon Valley

In an op-ed for Defense News, IST’s Leah Walker and Alexa W. caution that the office’s success hinges on acceptance in Silicon Valley and innovation hubs across the country. [read on Defense News]

About the Initiative

The initiative will convene senior private sector technologists and national security leaders and discuss collaboration while improving responses across many issues, including information and influence operations, machine learning, cybersecurity, adversarial capital, dual use technologies, and military acquisition of commercial technologies. These convenings will engage stakeholders with debates about the national security consequences of falling behind global competitors in the race for technological leadership and advantage. We will advance these conversations and continue building forums where new strategies and tactics of competition can be developed—and solutions deployed.

Alongside convenings, the initiative will include applied research identifying trends and actions that industry and U.S. government leaders can take today to boost American economic and technical competitiveness. Ultimately, the initiative will ideate and facilitate adoption of technical solutions to technology-driven security vulnerabilities into U.S. innovation and economic ecosystems, specifically vulnerabilities highlighted within adversaries’ national strategies.