Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (Cots): Doing It Right
By: Jacques Gansler, William Lucyshyn
In the twenty-first century, the United States will likely encounter a wide-range of threats, such as those posed by terrorists, rogue states and other non-state actors—all of whom are taking full advantage of globally available, high-tech commercial systems (e.g., from night vision devices, through secure cell phones, to satellite photos). At the same time, technology is changing more rapidly than ever before, and the DoD must learn to embrace the fact that it no longer holds a monopoly on all military-relevant technology (many of the information-intensive innovations result from commercial activities). Furthermore, the rising costs of domestic commitments, such as Social Security and Medicare, coupled with the growing budget deficits, will create an inevitable downward pressure on the DoD budget. These changes have created an urgency for transformation within the defense establishment.