News | March 18, 2021

Quantum Sensing's Potential Impacts on Strategic Deterrence and Modern Warfare

By Sarah Jacobs Gamberini and Lawrence Rubin Orbis

Photo By: ORBIS
VIRIN: 210318-D-QC535-1001

This article examines the impact of quantum sensing on strategic deterrence and modern warfare. It has two related objectives. The first is to highlight quantum sensing as an important area of research for the policy communities considering the role of emerging technologies on strategic deterrence and countering weapons of mass destruction. The second aim is to present the potential warfighting implications of quantum sensing if employed by either the United States or its adversaries. While quantum sensing technologies offer opportunities to transform modern warfare, they also present challenges and risks. The article contends that the quantum sensing investment, research, and development should be prioritized within the Department of Defense's quantum science modernization agenda to ensure that the U.S. military does not cede technological advantage to competitors, such as the People's Republic of China, who are actively investing in quantum sensing applications that could upend the United States’ existing deterrence and warfighting capabilities.

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