Tech Wars
Transforming U.S. Technology Development
by Daniel M. Gerstein
September 2022, 284pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7980-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
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eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7981-4
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A global technology race has begun that will shape U.S. economic and national security well into the 21st century.

This book explores the evolution of the current U.S. research and development enterprise, asks whether this organization remains appropriate to the challenges we face today, and proposes strategies for better preparing for the global technology race shaping our future.

Across the globe, nation states and societies, as well as corporations, technology developers, and even individuals, find themselves on the front lines of a global technology race. As we approach the third decade of this century, the outlines of the contest have become clear. Spending on research and development, such new methods as innovation centers, and inclusion of powerful technologies into governments and society are occurring at a rapid pace. Technology winners and losers are emerging.

How did we arrive at this global technology fight? How and where will it be waged? What can we do to prepare for the future? In 10 chapters, Tech Wars addresses these questions and more, examining the conditions that have led us to this point and introducing new strategies, organizational changes, and resource allocations that will help the United States respond to the challenges that are on the horizon.


  • Focuses on how technology affects society and individuals, recognizing that a discussion of technology must also include such topics as economics, trade, military activities, and other human endeavors
  • Demonstrates through historical precedents and examination of potential alternative futures that changes in the global research and development ecosystem are needed
  • Highlights the importance of technology to the economic and national security of the United States
  • Explains how and why our science and technology, research and development, and innovation capabilities should be adapted
Daniel M. Gerstein, PhD, is a national security professional and technology expert who has served in senior government positions as well as in uniform, industry, academia, and think tanks. He works at the RAND Corporation and is an adjunct professor at American University. Previously, he was acting under secretary and deputy under secretary in the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate. Gerstein served on four continents while participating in combat, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism, and homeland security operations. He held high-level assignments in the Pentagon for more than a decade. He has also served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy) as Principal Director for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).


“Dan Gerstein takes the reader on an important journey from U.S. science and technology leadership following World War II to the highly competitive, largely unstructured, private-sector-led, global R&D environment of today. He concludes the United States is not prepared to wage this tech war and that fundamental changes are necessary to posture us for success in the future. This book should be required reading for those seeking to understand how R&D will impact future U.S. economic prosperity and national security.”—David Olive, Founder & Principal, Catalyst Partners

"Gerstein dispassionately appraises the American system for technology development and passionately argues for making it more systematic. En route he educates every reader. "—Richard Danzig, 71st Secretary of the Navy and Senior Fellow, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

"Dan Gerstein's Tech Wars is a must-read for U.S. policy-makers, tech sector leaders, and policy wonks. This timely and important book explains why the U.S. technology competition—particularly with China—is central to American economic growth, diplomatic heft, and military advantage. The United States must forge new partnerships with industry and with allied countries to succeed in this existential struggle, and this book offers concrete recommendations for how to do so." —James N. Miller, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

"This book explains the most complex security issue we face today. The role of technology largely developed outside the government in shaping national powers and determining the outcomes of the competition between China and the democracies. It offers a close and well-informed look at the American 'technological enterprise' and ends with bold recommendations for federal reorganization. It offers new ways of thinking about the central problem of maintaining United States economic prosperity and national security."—James A. Lewis, Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC

"With the skill of a practitioner-scholar Dan Gerstein sounds the alarm on why the U.S. isn't ready for "Tech Wars." Framed as a whole society project, the book explores how the U.S. finds itself in a tech deficit and charts a path to ensure a prosperous future. The book is a call to action for leaders across government and industry." —Derek S. Reveron, U.S. Naval War College and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Tech wars and national competitions are expanding exponentially and now threaten American technology leadership, and therefore our future prosperity and national security. How we navigate these challenges and, in some cases, existential threats will determine our fate. This prescient book lays out the contours and seriousness of the threats and makes essential recommendations for how to respond, making it a must read for serious participants in the tech world and policy makers alike."—James Dougherty, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
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