Thank you, President Hennessey, for that wonderful introduction. And thanks to all of the colleagues – many colleagues and friends here at Stanford for the opportunity to be with you today. It’s a special privilege for me to give the Sidney Drell Lecture, and I need to tell you why.
I began my career – as John Hennessey indicated – in elementary particle physics, and the classic textbook in relativistic quantum field theory, which described the first of what are known as gauge field theories, namely, quantum electrodynamics, was entitled Bjorken and Drell, Relativistic Quantum Fields. I’ve got my copy of Bjorken and Drell right here – it’s all marked up in the margins from those years ago.
For my doctoral thesis in theoretical physics, I worked on quantum chromodynamics, it’s also a gauge theory – field theory of the force by which quarks are held together to make nucleons. And at Oxford University’s department of theoretical physics, the external thesis advisor for my thesis was Sid Drell. I talked to Sid Drell earlier in this morning, and he can’t be here today, but that’s my thesis back in the days when they were bound.
When I visited the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in subsequent years as a post-doc, I remember sitting on the porch of the rambling ranch house right here on the Stanford campus that Sid and Harriet Drell lived in. As post-docs tend to do, I would hang around their house at dinnertime hoping that Harriet would invite me in to dinner, which she usually did. And sometimes their daughter Persis would be there, who is now, of course, the dean of engineering here at Stanford.
A few years later, Sid was assisting the assembly of a team of scientists for the U.S. Congress on a topic that preoccupied Cold War Washington at the time: how to base the ten-warhead MX intercontinental ballistic missile so that it could not be destroyed in a first strike by 3,000 equivalent megatons of Soviet throw-weight atop their SS-18 missile. He recommended that I join that team temporarily. Sid Drell was an inspiration to all those who worked in those years to control the danger of nuclear weapons. And this – for me – was the beginning of my involvement in national security affairs.
At about that time, I got to meet the then-Under Secretary of Defense in charge of technology and procurement for the Department of Defense. He impressed me with how lucid and logical he was, and how well he applied technical thinking to national security problems. That Under Secretary was of course William Perry, who is also present here today, and who later became Deputy Secretary of Defense and finally Secretary of Defense in a progression that I have followed some 30 years later. Bill has been a major figure in my life, including standing in for my father at my wedding.
So I thank both Sid and Bill Perry, and many, many other colleagues here at Stanford…old friends at CISAC, at the Freeman Spogli Institute, at the Hoover Institution, and in the engineering faculty. I especially thank everyone for their warm welcome to me as a visitor here earlier this year. Not quite two months into it, on a fateful Monday afternoon in November, though, duty called. And I found myself nominated by President Obama to be Secretary of Defense.
When I became Secretary, I made three commitments. The first is to the troops and to their families – to safeguard them, to ensure that they’re treated with dignity and respect, and above all to ensure that when they’re sent into harm’s way, it’s done with the utmost care. The second commitment is to President Obama – to offer him my best strategic advice as he faces a complex world, to ensure at the same time that he receives candid military advice, and finally that his decisions are carried out with DoD’s expected excellence. And my third commitment is to the future – to stay ahead of a changing world, to stay competitive, to stay aware of new generations and attract them to our mission of serving the country, and to stay abreast of technology…all this the topic of my comments today.
Over the years, I’ve seen lots of products developed here in Silicon Valley and throughout the tech community to enable boundless transformation, progress, opportunity and prosperity…across all sectors of our economy and society – commerce, health care, education, transportation, and national defense among many others. And it’s made many things easier, cheaper, and safer.
But in recent years, it’s become clear that these same advances and technologies also present a degree of risk to the businesses, governments, militaries, and individual people who rely on them every day…making it easier, cheaper, and safer to threaten them.
The same Internet that enables Wikipedia also allows terrorists to learn how to build a bomb. And the same technologies we use to target cruise missiles and jam enemy air defenses can be used against our own forces – and they’re now available to the highest bidder. Whether it’s the cloud, infrared cameras, or the GPS signals that provide navigation for ride-sharing apps, but also for aircraft carriers and our smart bombs – our reliance on technology has led to real vulnerabilities that our adversaries are eager to exploit.
And this brings me to my question for today: how do we mitigate that risk – the risk that comes with such technology while simultaneously unleashing its promise? How do we protect not just the freedom the Internet affords and the new opportunities to advance human welfare that technology enables, but also our country, our future, our children, our people?
And the key, in my mind, is to ensure an alignment between a defense that leverages our strengths – like our robust and independent business and academic communities – and that reflects our nation’s values and longstanding traditions…and a defense that is effective in a changing world. How to align all that, and how we achieve that alignment isn’t new. We find the alignment in open partnership…by working together.
Indeed, history shows that we’ve succeeded in finding solutions to these kinds of tough questions when our commercial, civil, and government sectors worked together as partners. And today, we must…and can…do the same.
Looking out over the last 75 years, we’ve had a long history of partnership. Sometimes the bonds between the academy, industry, and defense were particularly close…like during World War II, when the Manhattan Project and the MIT Radiation Laboratory and others brought together the brightest minds, and the best of industry cranked out the ships, planes, and tanks – at what are now astonishing to us numbers. And another was during the Cold War, when a cross-section of military, academic, and private-sector experts paved the way to a future of precision-guided munitions, battle networks, and stealth. At times, we also eyed each other warily – like when Bobby Inman faced off against Martin Hellman and Whit Diffie over public-key encryption and commercialization; or during the controversy over the Clipper ship – chip – Clipper chip, excuse me, in the 1990s; and, more recently, after the actions of Edward Snowden.
Through successes and strains, our ties have broadly endured…but I believe we must renew the bonds of trust and rebuild the bridge between the Pentagon and Silicon Valley.
One reason to do so is that we share many of the same underlying objectives and values. As our government has demonstrated in recent trade negotiations, diplomacy, and decisions on net neutrality, we are strong proponents of a free and open Internet, and strong supporters of protecting intellectual property rights.
But we also need to work together because we’re living in the same world, with the same basic trends and the same basic threats.
The first of these trends is the evolutions we’re seeing in technology – that you all know very well about.
But second, there’s been an evolution for us of where technology comes from. When I began my career, most technology of consequence originated in the United States, and much of that was sponsored by the government. Now much more technology is commercial, and the technology base is global.
Globalization and commercialization have, in turn, led to more competition, which is good, because it leads to more innovative thinking. That’s driven a third trend, which is that the competition for talent has become much more aggressive – and I’ll have more to say about that later, because that matters a lot to me as Secretary of Defense.
These trends are contributing to a growing problem we think about every day in DoD: the fact that threats to our security and our military’s technological superiority are proliferating and diversifying. This is happening in terms of conventional weaponry and technologies, and in the cyber domain. You may think that some of this should just be left up to DoD, but these challenges should concern us all.
Let me step back. During the Cold War, Bill Perry drove a so-called “offset strategy” that harnessed American technology to radically change warfare through precision-guided munitions, network-centric forces, and stealth aircraft. It came to life during the 1991 Gulf War – when the world watched, stunned, at what the American military might had achieved. But the world has since had a quarter century to figure out how to counter these capabilities.
So now we’re seeing high-end military technologies long possessed by only the most advanced foes find their way into arsenals of both non-state actors and previously much less-capable militaries. And nations like Russia and China have been pursuing long-term and comprehensive military modernization programs to close the technology gap with the United States…particularly through capabilities designed to thwart our traditional advantages of power projection and freedom of movement. They’re developing and fielding new and advanced aircraft, submarines, and ballistic, cruise, anti-ship, and anti-air missiles that are both longer-range and more accurate. And they’ve been working on new counter-space, cyber, electronic warfare, undersea, and air attack capabilities that challenge our own. And as I’ll explain more in a moment, we’re of course innovating to stay ahead of these threats…but they’re very real.
And meanwhile, as tech companies see every day, the cyber threat against U.S. interests is increasing in severity and sophistication. While the North Korean cyberattack on Sony was the most destructive on a U.S. entity so far, this threat affects us all. And it comes from state and non-state actors alike. Just as Russia and China have advanced cyber capabilities and strategies ranging from stealthy network penetration to intellectual property theft, criminal and terrorist networks are also increasing their cyber operations. Low-cost and global proliferation of malware have lowered barriers to entry and made it easier for smaller malicious actors to strike in cyberspace. We’re also seeing blended state-and-non-state threats in cyber…which complicates potential responses for us and for others.
And this is a serious business. This is a serious matter. And it requires our collaboration. But in addition to dangers, there are also really great opportunities to be seized through a new level of partnership between the Pentagon and Silicon Valley – opportunities that we can only realize together.
Consider the historic role that DoD and government investments have played in helping spur ground-up technology innovation – both in this Valley, and on this campus. Some examples are well known. Vint Cerf ‘fathered’ the Internet while a Stanford assistant professor and also a researcher at DARPA. GPS – I don’t know whether Jim Spilker is here – likewise began as a defense-driven project, as did, in an earlier era, jet engines and communications satellites. And even today, Stanford continues to be among the top university recipients of federal R&D spending.
But other examples we hear less about. Work on Google’s search algorithm was funded by a grant from the NSF, National Science Foundation. And most technologies used throughout Silicon Valley – including many that Apple brilliantly integrated into the iPhone – can be traced back to government or DoD research and expenditures. The developers of multi-touch worked together through a fellowship funded by the National Science Foundation and the CIA. iOS’s Siri grew out of not only decades of DARPA-driven research on artificial intelligence and voice recognition, but also a specific DARPA project funded through SRI to help develop a virtual assistant for military personnel. And Google’s self-driving cars grew out of the DARPA Grand Challenge.
Now, obviously none of this diminishes the genius, the hard work, and the sacrifices by innovators here at Stanford, or in Mountain View, or Boston, or elsewhere. The government helped ignite the spark, but this was the place that nurtured the flame that created incredible applications. I mention this because it speaks to a partnership that has long existed between America’s technology sector and its government and defense institutions…a relationship that can continue in a way that benefits us both.
All these facts – both the challenges and the opportunities – lead me to a clear conclusion. Renewing, strengthening our partnership is the only way we can do this.
Now, it won’t always be easy. We’ve had tensions before, and we will likely have them again. We shouldn’t diminish that. But those who work in the tech community are no strangers to intense grappling with ideas. And the same is true for those of us who work in the Pentagon. And, because we have different missions and different perspectives, sometimes we’re going to disagree.
But I think that’s okay. Because being able to address tensions through our partnership is much better than not speaking at all. And there can be great ideas that come out of candid conversation.
And this of course leads us to a new question – what would this renewed partnership look like? And what’s the best way to re-wire the Pentagon for a partnership?
As Secretary of Defense, I believe that we in the Pentagon – to stay ahead – need to change and to change we need to be open, as I say, we have to think outside of our five-sided box. So I want to spend the rest of these remarks talking about two areas where I believe our partnership is most vital – innovation more broadly and cybersecurity particularly. And I want to be open with you about our plans for both.
Let me start with innovation.
It’s no secret that DoD is coming out of fighting two wars – two long wars – for more than 10 years. While we were focused on solving the problems we faced during those wars, we lost sight, in some ways, of the bigger picture about the impact and proliferation of technology around the world.
Now, this isn’t to say that DoD has completely ceded R&D funding and innovative thinking to everyone else – we still make up half of federal research and development, which is about $72 billion dollars this year. These are resources that help build the world’s most advanced fighters and bombers, develop new phased arrays for radar, and produce the satellites, missiles, and ships that let us strike terrorists in the Middle East and underwrite stability in the Asia-Pacific. And unlike our R&D investments during the past 14 years of war – like when we needed thousands of Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, to protect our troops from roadside bombs – the investments we’re making today are preparing us to face the types of high-end threats that I described earlier.
Some of these R&D funds – $12 billion dollars’ worth – support the breakthrough science and technology research done at universities and companies and DoD labs across the tech community. For example, a number of folks here at Stanford have worked with DARPA, our advanced research projects agency, which you all know. In the past three years, DARPA has partnered with nearly 50 different public- and private-sector research entities in Silicon Valley – that’s just one agency. These relationships are really valuable to us, and I intend to continue to nurture them.
Come June, we’ll see this in action, when the finals take place for the DARPA Robotics Challenge in Southern California. This event will showcase how work on smaller sensors, pattern recognition technology, big data analysis, and autonomous systems with human decision support, could combine into a rescue robot – that’s the challenge – a rescue robot that navigates a disaster-stricken area with the same speed and efficiency that you or I would…but without putting anyone at risk.
Another example is how we’re looking beyond GPS. While DoD will of course continue to support the GPS satellites, which we engineer and launch – because of all the commercial applications as well as military applications – we also need to find alternatives for military use that are more resilient and less vulnerable. We’ll do that in part by advancing microelectromechanical systems technology for small inertial navigation units, small accurate accelerometers, and precision clocks – all on a chip. Today this technology is in our smartphones – that’s how they know they’re being rotated – and we’re pushing it to be far more precise. We’ll push, for example, the performance envelope in timing and navigation technology by harnessing Nobel Prize-winning physics research that uses lasers to cool atoms. Stanford has been a tremendous force in this area, with one group of researchers creating a company we work with, AOSense, to make practical cold-atom systems. The result would be a GPS of things – akin to the Internet of things – where objects, including our military systems, keep track of their position, orientation, and time from the moment they are created with no need for updates from satellites.
But to stay competitive and to stay ahead of threats, DoD must do even more. And that starts with our people, who are our most important asset – both in Silicon Valley and in the military. Who they are, and where they are, matters tremendously in affecting our ability to innovate. And that’s the rationale behind some initial steps I’m taking starting today.
First of all, it’s important that we at the Pentagon find new ways to help bring in new people with the talent and expertise we need, and who want to contribute to our mission as part of the force of the future, even if only for a time…or a project. We’re establishing a DoD branch of the U.S. Digital Service, the outgrowth of the tech team that helped rescue healthcare.gov, for example, to help solve some of our most intractable IT and data problems in DoD. And in fact, we have our very first team there – a ‘sprint team’ already in the Pentagon working on transferring electronic health records from DoD to the Veteran’s Administration – a bigger problem than you might imagine. And they’ll work on classified projects as well. And if you want to be a part of the U.S. Digital Service [Link], you can, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to try out public service – try out applying your skills to national defense and maybe you’ll end up like I did after Sid Drell got me to give it a try. But that’s what we’re trying to do – ask people to give us a try, join us for a while – even if for just a time. Make a contribution. Feel what it’s like to be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself. And it really matters.
The reason that Silicon Valley is so successful is that it has the right people in it but there’s proximity as well – there’s an ecosystem out here. Everyone’s in the same general area, which not only helps forge relationships, but also helps spread new ideas. And that geographic proximity, coupled with strong links between academia and industry, has made this entire region a nexus for innovation.
So I am also creating something that we call the Defense Innovative Unit Experimental [Defense Innovation Unit X]…first-of-its-kind unit for us, staffed by some of our best active-duty and military personnel, plus key people from the Reserves who live here who are some our best technical talent. Some of you are reservists – and we appreciate that. They’ll strengthen existing relationships and build new ones; help scout for new technologies; and help function as a local interface for the department. Down the road, they could help startups find new work to do with DoD.
Third, we’re going to open a door in the other direction – from our best government technologies to industry and then back. For example, we currently have a Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellows Program that sends about 15 of our people a year out to commercial companies like Oracle, Cisco, FedEx, and others. Right now we don’t effectively harness what they’ve learned when they come back.
So we’re going to expand that fellows program into a two-year gig – one year in a company, and one year in a part of DoD with comparable business practices. That way we have a better chance to bring the private-sector’s best practices back into the department. These are just some of the examples of how we need to drill holes in the wall that I think exists and has built up over the years between the Department of Defense and the commercial and scientific sector. Let people come back and forth and try it out – that’s the only way to do it. People want choices these days, and they want mobility. They don’t want to get stuck on one side of the wall or the other.
We also have to think about investing in the most promising emerging technologies, as well as our people. While DoD has sought to continuously improve our acquisition processes over the past five years – and I’m proud to have been a part of that effort at the beginning of the Obama Administration – there are still areas where we can and must do better.
One concern I’ve heard about is the worry that the government will insist on taking intellectual property, and then reveal proprietary information to the public and to competitors. Let me assure you that we understand and appreciate industry’s right to intellectual property. And DoD has a long history of successfully protecting companies’ proprietary information, and we respect the fact that IP is often the most important and valuable asset a company holds, and that businesses cannot be forced to sell their IP to the government. We understand all that. We need the creativity and innovation that comes from start-ups and small businesses, and we know that part of doing business with them involves protecting their intellectual property.
This is particularly important because start-ups are the leading edge of commercial innovation, and right now, DoD researchers have many effective ways to transition promising – sorry, do not have enough effective ways to transition technologies that they come up with to application. And we need to fix that, too. I don’t want us to lose out on an innovative idea or capability we need because the Pentagon bureaucracy was too slow to fund something, or we weren’t amenable to working with startups, as we should be.
So, borrowing on the success of the Intelligence Community’s partnership with the independent, nonprofit startup-backer In-Q-Tel, which many of us have had involvement with, I’m going to propose – I have proposed and they’ve accepted a pilot project with In-Q-Tel to provide innovative solutions to our most challenging problems. We’ll make investments with In-Q-Tel in order to leverage their existing proven relationships, and apply their approach to DoD. As some of you know, In-Q-Tel has been working with Silicon Valley for over 15 years, and continues to provide other parts of the U.S. government with access to the start-up world. In order to regain our competiveness, we have to expand our ways of investing in identifying and implementing new technologies and capabilities – and this approach may help us yield a long-term advantage.
And commercial technology – I should say – is not a panacea, nor will it ever be…we can’t get everything from outside, and we need some special technologies for our own special missions. Stealth is one example: we need aircraft to look as tiny as sparrows on radar, but nobody else needs aircraft in the commercial world that do that. Similarly, the Mach 5-plus hypersonic scramjet we tested on the X-51 a couple years ago is technology we need for a new dimension in warfighting – it’s not something the commercial sector needs.
But there are many areas where the potential in leveraging commercially-driven technology is so huge, that we have to embrace it going forward.
We want to partner with businesses on everything from autonomy to robotics to biomedical engineering; from power, energy, and propulsion to distributed systems, data science, and the Internet of things. Because if we’re going to leverage these technologies to defend our country and help make a better world, the Department of Defense cannot do everything in all these areas alone. We have to work with those outside.
And the same is true, finally, with cybersecurity – we’re going to have to work together on this one.
While we in DoD are an attractive target, the cyber threat is one we all face…as institutions, and as individuals. Networks nationwide are scanned millions of times a day. And as we’ve seen cyber attackers bombard the public websites of banks, make off with customer data from retailers, try to access critical infrastructure networks, and steal research and intellectual property from universities and businesses alike…so too have individual citizens been compelled to guard against identity theft.
This is one of the world’s most complex challenges today, which is why the Department of Defense has three missions in the cyber domain. The first is defending our own networks and weapons, because they’re critical to what we do every day…and they’re no good if they’ve been hacked. Second, we help defend the nation against cyberattacks from abroad – especially if they would cause loss of life, property destruction, or significant foreign policy and economic consequences. And our third mission is to provide offensive cyber options that, if directed by the President, can augment our other military systems.
In some ways, what we’re doing about this threat is similar to what we do about more conventional threats. We like to deter malicious action before it happens, and we like to be able to defend against incoming attacks – as well as pinpoint where an attack came from. We’ve gotten better at that because of strong partnerships across the government, and because of private-sector security researchers like FireEye, Crowdstrike, HP – when they out a group of malicious cyber attackers, we take notice and share that information.
Still, adversaries should know that our preference for deterrence and our defensive posture don’t diminish our willingness to use cyber options if necessary. And when we do take action – defensive or otherwise, conventionally or in cyberspace – we operate under rules of engagement that comply with international and domestic law.
This approach reflects two goals. First, keeping the Internet open, secure, and prosperous. And second, assuring that we continue to respect – and protect – the freedoms of expression, association, and privacy that reflect who we are as a nation.
Let me repeat that second goal: We must continue to respect, and protect, the freedoms of expression, association, and privacy that reflect who we are as a nation.
To do this right, we again have to work together. And as a military, we have to embrace openness. Today dozens of militaries are developing cyber forces, and because stability depends on avoiding miscalculation that could lead to escalation, militaries must talk to each other and understand each other’s abilities. And DoD must do its part to shed more light on cyber capabilities that have previously been developed in the shadows.
So today, for example, I want to disclose a recent instance that helps illustrate the cyber threat we face today and what to do about it. It’s never been publically reported, and it shows how rapidly DoD can detect, attribute, and expel an intruder from our military networks – in this case, unclassified ones.
Earlier this year, the sensors that guard DoD’s unclassified networks detected Russian hackers accessing one of our networks. They’d discovered an old vulnerability in one of our legacy networks that hadn’t been patched.
While it’s worrisome they achieved some unauthorized access to our unclassified network, we quickly identified the compromise, and had a team of incident responders hunting down the intruders within 24 hours. After learning valuable information about their tactics, we analyzed their network activity, associated it with Russia, and then quickly kicked them off the network, in a way that minimized their chances of returning.
This episode illustrates a step in the right direction. Like a lot of CEOs across the country, my primary goal in my enterprise is defending our networks because we, too, are a network-centric organization, but I still worry about what we don’t know. Because this was only one attack that we found.
One way we’re responding to that is by being more transparent, to raise awareness in both the public and the private sector. Indeed, shining a bright light on such intrusions can eventually benefit us all – businesses and governments alike.
More broadly, President Obama has said that we will respond to cyber-attacks in a manner and at a time and place of our choosing using appropriate instruments of U.S. power. DoD has spent a lot of time figuring out how to help do so while also holding true to our nation’s enduring interests, traditions, and values. And we’ve developed a new cyber strategy that details what our cyber missions are and when we will take certain actions and why.
This new strategy – our first since 2011 – is to help guide development of DoD’s cyber forces, and it’s also a reflection of DoD being more open than before. We’re making it available to the public today – both online [Link], and by the way, at the back of this room. And I’d like to tell you a little bit about it.
Like everything we do, our cyber strategy starts with our people – its first strategic goal is building and training our Cyber Mission Forces. These are talented individuals who hunt down intruders, red-team our networks, and perform the forensics that help keep our systems secure. And their skill and knowledge makes them much more valuable than the technology they use. We’re just beginning to build and to imagine this cyber force in DoD.
Another goal is to be better prepared to defend DoD information networks, secure our data, and mitigate cyber risks to military missions. We do this in part through deterrence by denial, in line with today’s best-in-class cybersecurity practices – building a single security architecture that’s both more easily defendable, and able to adapt and evolve to mitigate both current and future cyber threats. This to replace the hundreds of networks – separate networks – that we now operate in the Department of Defense. We have to strengthen our network defense command and control to synchronize across thousands of these disparate networks, and conduct exercises in resiliency…so that if a cyberattack degrades our usual capabilities, we can still mobilize, deploy, and operate our forces in other domains – air, land, and sea – despite the attack. And we’re also taking action – just this week I directed that we consolidate all of over IT services in DoD and throughout the Washington capital region – consolidate all of them, which will not only help improve our overall cybersecurity, but also save millions of dollars we can better spend elsewhere.
Of course, as I’ve said, we know that working together in the cyber domain is essential. And that’s why one of the primary aspects of our strategy is working with partners – in the private sector, across our government, and around the world. And the strategy speaks to this as well.
Because American businesses own, operate, and see approximately ninety percent of our national networks, the private sector must be a key partner. The U.S. government has a unique suite of cyber tools and capabilities, but we need the private sector to take its own steps to protect its data and networks. We want to help where we can, but if companies themselves don’t invest, our country’s collective cyber posture is weakened and our ability to augment that protection is limited.
To build our vital cyber force, we’re going to need to use new ways to attract talent through new private-sector exchange programs that let people from outside contribute to our mission and then return here to the Valley or to stay, as I did. And to ensure that our people have the right tools to execute their missions, we’re going to be increasing our fundamental research and development – this is an exception in these times of budget constraints – increase our fundamental research and development with both established and emerging private-sector partners in cyber…so that together, we can create cyber capabilities that not only help DoD, but can also spin off into the wider U.S. marketplace.
And last to ensure our cyber operations are appropriate and effective, we’re going to work more closely with our law enforcement partners at the FBI, with Homeland Security, and elsewhere. There are clear lines of authority in our government about who can work where, so as adversaries jump from foreign to U.S. networks, we need our coordination with our government to operate seamlessly. And I’m determined that the Department of Defense be a cooperative partner with law enforcement and with homeland security. We’ve already started practicing with them – just a couple of weeks ago, we had an exercise that we did with our FBI counterparts on how to do exactly what I said – and we’re going to be exercising much more going forward. It’s important that we work together and that we all behave in a way that is lawful and appropriate.
Now, as Secretary of Defense, my mission is to make sure our military can defend our country – make a better world. But this is a mission that all of us who love freedom and opportunity and want a better for our children and our grandchildren share with us. We’re our best when we have the best partners. Knowing how we’ve worked together in the past, and how critical your work is to our country, strengthening this partnership is very important to me.
We have a unique opportunity to build bridges and rebuild bridges and renew trust. That’s why I’m visiting some other companies here this afternoon, and meeting with a group of tech leaders tomorrow. I want to learn how, in the years to come, a new level of partnership can lead to great things.
That’s what’s possible through partnership. And whether it’s helping safeguard the Internet or helping save lives, working together for the greater good is bigger than who we are as individuals – bigger than who we are as companies.
It’s an imperative we face…an opportunity we share…and it’s the only way to make a better world – together.