The Project was launched to explore what the United States must do to continue to thrive as a global leader, economically and otherwise, driving toward a societal-level understanding and approach to competition at the intersection of policy, industry, and science and technology.
To do so, the Project is commissioning a spectrum of experts from diverse fields across the Potomac Institute’s network and beyond. Their purpose is to highlight and elevate issues surrounding both the challenges and opportunities associated with societal-level competition today and in the future. What are the greatest vulnerabilities to consider? What is at stake for the United States? How do we best leverage our strengths?
Ultimately, the Project’s goal is to develop foundational reference products (through research, discussion, events, and papers, etc.) for national security professionals, policymakers, industry leaders, and others to use in addressing the most consequential aspects of near-peer competition.
For the United States to continue to thrive as a global leader, economically and otherwise, a societal-level understanding and approach to competition must be invigorated. The issue is a multifaceted, multigenerational challenge just in its infancy of being recognized and addressed and will therefore require priority in the public square and private sector if we are to be successful in years to come.
The current era—the Information Age—is dominated by unprecedented global interconnectedness and economic interdependence, at an all-time high across human history. A single person can wield a megaphone to millions (or billions) via a single social media post. A small ripple in one nation’s markets can result in a tsunami in others and vice versa. Thoughtful and deliberative strategies employed by competitors can therefore be exceedingly effective at swaying minds and money with unprecedented reach, precision, and impact. Unfortunately, examples of such efforts have also devolved into political and economic manipulation and coercion, to include China and Russia as culprits.
While the United States has competed effectively at a societal level before, the stakes and players were different. We did not depend on the Soviet Union economically or otherwise during the Cold War, nor did we depend on Germany or Japan in a similar manner during World War II. Today however, we are economic codependents with China. And China, is deliberately competing with the United States at the societal level, in it for the long-haul, leveraging an enduring patience built over several millennia. While the United States does not “enjoy” the “benefit” and ruthless efficiency of an autocracy in aligning all aspects of society toward strategic goals, American-style democracy and free enterprise have proven themselves repeatedly to be the essential spark for unbridled ingenuity—the key to unrivaled flourishing among the world’s nations.
Our short history has demonstrated that—ingenuity—inventiveness, imagination, and the free flow of ideas, especially when translated to the advance of impactful science and technology (S&T) on the economy, national security, and overall quality of life, is core to our unprecedented success as a country. This time is no different, especially when S&T is complimented by sound policy and an engaged private sector. The intersection of all three, illuminated via the compilation of insight gathered from a diverse field of experts, will provide a vital tool to understanding and developing a coherent society-level approach to competition in the Information Age.
November 3, 2021
The headlines are plentiful with stories of serious supply chain issues that have erupted during the COVID-19 pandemic; disruptions and shortages have affected virtually every household in the country, bringing to light just how dependent Americans are on the global supply chain system and vulnerable to its shortfalls. Lack of product and increasing prices have impacted every American, from CEOs to line workers and even school children. The situation has spurred a substantial public dialog regarding the implications of our supply chain vulnerabilities and what they mean for future U.S. prosperity and security.
On November 3, 2021, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies hosted an event focused on this challenge as part of its Global Competition Project (GCP) series. A panel of subject matter experts examined the state of U.S. supply chains and how they factor into our nation’s ability to gain and maintain competitive advantages on the global stage. Specific attention was paid to the state of microelectronic supply chains due to its key role in both the economic prosperity and national security of the country. Dr. Michael Fritze, Vice President at the Potomac Institute, facilitated the discussion of panel members which also included the Honorable Alan R. Shaffer, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and Potomac Institute Board of Regents member; Dr. Jay Lewis, Partner, Silicon Projects at Microsoft; and Mr. Mike McGlone, Senior Commodity Strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence.
January 26th, 2022
Dr. Tim Welter led a panel consisting of the Honorable Al Shaffer (Potomac Institute), Professor Daniel Hastings (MIT), the Honorable Dr. Patricia Falcone (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), Ms. Joy Shanaberger (Boone Group), and Mr. Trevor Huffard (Potomac Institute). The subject of the conversation was education and its role in the competitiveness of the US on the global stage. General Al Gray and Dr. Jen Buss delivered introductory remarks.
Hybrid Seminar – GCP: A New Vision for Space
Having worked in the private sector, the military, and on Capitol Hill, Tim Welter brings valuable experience in national security and defense policy to the Institute. After serving on active duty in the Air Force for several years, he worked on Capitol Hill as Legislative Director for two different Members of Congress and later as a Professional Staff Member with the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Upon leaving the Hill, Tim worked with the foreign and defense policy research team at the American Enterprise Institute. He later completed a research fellowship at the National War College during which he finished his Ph.D. dissertation in Political Science with the University of Missouri, writing about the political nature of defense policy in Congress. A U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, Tim holds Master’s degrees in Political Science, National Security Strategy, and Management. Just prior to joining the Institute, Tim served at the Pentagon where he helped stand up an organization dedicated to future force design and the development of capabilities and concepts required to meet to emerging national security challenges.