US Navy Lieutenant Commander Thomas D. Vandermolen is officer in charge at the Maritime Science and Technology Center in Yokosuka, Japan. Tom, who is also a member of the CRN Global Task Force, has just had an article on "Molecular Nanotechnology and National Security" published in the Fall 2006 issue of Air & Space Power Journal.
Molecular nanotechnology, when fully developed, will provide the basis for the next technological revolution, possibly the most beneficial yet disruptive in human history. By allowing inexpensive mass production with atomic-level precision, this infant technology has the potential to create whole new classes of weapons and economic, political, and social disruptions serious enough to threaten international security.
In order to minimize the threats while maximizing the benefits of molecular nanotechnology's impending development, the United States should take the lead in creating a cooperative strategy of international regulation. Further, the strategy should be initiated as soon as possible to allow for the uncertain timeline of molecular nanotechnology development and the inherent difficulty of establishing such a regulatory process. Molecular nanotechnology's arrival will cause an avalanche of problems and threats, many of which the human race has never encountered; the control strategy must therefore be ready before that day arrives.
Read the whole thing.