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Their warrants for DOD innovation assume operational improvements abroad, not domestic base improvements—this distinction wrecks the aff

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Their warrants for DOD innovation assume operational improvements abroad, not domestic base improvements—this distinction wrecks the aff

Gholz 2012 – PhD, Associate Professor of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, senior advisor to the deputy assistant secretary of defense for manufacturing and industrial base policy (March, Eugene, Energy Innovation at the Department of Defense: Assessing the Opportunities, White Paper, “The dynamics of military innovation and the prospects for defense-led energy innovation”, http://bipartisanpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Energy%20Innovation%20at%20DoD.pdf, WEA)
Many pundits and leaders in the U.S. government hope touse the model of successful military innovation to stimulateinnovation for green technologies—notwithstanding criticismsthat defense technologies are often expensive and esoteric and ¶ sometimes fail to meet optimistic performance projections. ¶ Advocates particularly hope that the Department of Defense ¶ (DoD) will use its substantial procurement budget to “pull” thedevelopment of new energy technologies; in their vision DoD ¶ will serve as an early adopter to help new energy technologies ¶ achieve economies of scale.¶ 86¶ This paper will build on the baseline of knowledge about ¶ military innovation—what we know about why some largescale military innovation has worked while some has not—to ¶ explain which parts of the effort to encourage defense-led ¶ energy innovation are likely to be more successful than others. ¶ Innovation in major weapons systems has worked best whencustomers understand the technology trajectory that theyare hoping to pull and when progress along that technology ¶ trajectory is important to the customer organization’s mission; ¶ under those circumstances, the customer protects the research ¶ effort, provides useful feedback about the development effort, ¶ adequately (or generously) funds the effort, and happily buysthe end product, often helping the developer appeal to elected ¶ leaders for funding. The alliance between the military customer ¶ and private firms selling the innovation can overcome the ¶ collective action problems that providing public goods like ¶ defense and energy security would otherwise face.¶ This model of military innovation is not the only way that the ¶ U.S. has developed and applied new technologies for defense, ¶ but it is the principal route to substantial change. At best, other ¶ innovation dynamics tend to yield relatively minor evolutionary ¶ improvements or small-scale innovations that can matter a ¶ great deal at the level of a local organization but do not attract ¶ sufficient resources and political attention to change overall ¶ national capabilities.¶ Applied to energy innovation, this understanding of ¶ innovation suggests that DoD will more effectively pull ¶ development efforts related to operational energy (e.g., fuelsupplies to operating bases in Afghanistan) than efforts relatedto energy at military bases in the U.S., even if the efforts for homeinstallations would cost less, would increase efficiency more, ¶ would better protect energy security (e.g., protecting against ¶ threats to homeland security), or would draw equal support from ¶ private-sector lobbying. The operational energy efforts betterfit into the military’s traditional concerns with innovation in ¶ the field that reduces casualties and eases logistical constraints ¶ (even at the cost of complexity in the logistics chain). Meanwhile, ¶ installation energy improvements try to gain political support byappealing to a more general conception of the national interest, ¶ recognizing that “security” claims are a useful political lever in the ¶ United States—a code word for “important”—but that promises ¶ to contribute to “energy independence” have failed to attract ¶ sustained support and real funding since President Nixon first ¶ used that phrase.

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