Friday, April 28, 2006

Global nano-arms race underway?

Citing emerging threats in a dynamic geopolitical environment and the changing nature of warfare, Malyasia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, told a nano-materials conference on Thursday, that the Government was committed to support innovative R&D in nanotechnology and composites technology as an essential component of Malaysia's economic and social well-being, and military strategy.

Reading between the lines, it looks like Malaysia is signaling it will invest to become a global player (and partner) in nano materials research for both commercial benefit, and to ensure it’s own military capabilities are not left behind in the rapidly developing ‘smart soldier' space.

Thoughts: When we see a country ranked 84th by GDP/capita (2004), investing in nanotech research to ensure military preparedness, is it a signal that we already in the midst of a new global arms race? Will the relentless acceleration of NBIC (nano-bio-info-cogno) technnology advance place such capabilities in the hands on citizens - and not country states - anytime soon?

KEY WORDS: Nanotechnology; Defence; Materials; Geo-politics

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