Issue Briefs

Why The Pentagon Needs A Quantum Czar

By Rebecca L. Grant, Ph.D.

Just when you thought drones, artificial intelligence and hypersonic missiles were the must-haves for future warfare, here comes yet another priority: quantum computing. Quantum computing literally changes the basis of information sciences. The Pentagon knows that, and has been fueling quantum information science research for years. In fact, across the government, there are no less than 14 quantum-focused centers at work on problems ranging from communications to extreme computing and entanglement distribution for secure encryption. And that’s the problem: there are simply too many cooks and no head chef in this kitchen. That’s why Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-New York) is considering legislation to create a Principal Quantum Adviser for the Defense Department: one individual empowered to wrangle the portfolio of current quantum programs across the services, combatant commanders and major industry partnerships. I have written more on this subject here.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely the author’s.

Rebecca Grant is President of IRIS Independent Research and a Visiting Fellow of the Lexington Institute.