Policy Options to Promote Biotechnology in the Defense and Intelligence Communities

Emerging biotechnology has clear national security applications. We can imagine a future in which our war-fighters are fed, fueled, equipped, protected, treated, and healed, all thanks in part to biotechnology. We can also imagine a future where biotechnology can be used to promote American priorities globally, such as ensuring food security.
If the United States does not lead, others will, and we risk a future in which biotechnology undermines, rather than supports, U.S. national security. The People’s Republic of China intends to win the age of biology and is making significant investments and shrewd policy decisions with the intent to outpace the United States.
While the National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology (“the Commission”) continues its work towards a final report to Congress, there are concrete steps lawmakers can take now to allow the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Intelligence Community (IC) to better harness biotechnology for America’s security. This white paper lays out policy options for consideration in the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) to better prepare the DOD and IC for biotechnology advancements.