In his wonderful book, THE NEXT DECADE, George Friedman makes a strong case that many of America's best 20th Century innovations stemmed from military goals and objectives.
The development of aircraft and radio has been- and remains- one of the military's most subsidized endeavors. It resulted in the creation of the modern airline and broadcasting industries.
The interstate highway system was first conceived as a military project to rapidly move troops in the event of a nuclear attack.
The microchip stemmed from a need to guide nuclear missiles and rockets into space.
And, the Internet began as a military communications project.
Despite the fact that America has been at war for more than a decade, few major technological developments have to-date originated from the light-infantry conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan.
With budget cuts pending across the entire U.S. government, the expectation that cutting-edge innovation and breakthroughs will come from the Pentagon should be tempered.