Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, listed protecting information systems as a top priority for the committee during a Nov. 16 defense strategy event organized by Politico.

The congressman talked about protecting IT systems, along with the importance of missile and drone programs, as key areas that need further investment.

“Making sure all those systems work and are protecting information systems is number one because that is what makes everything work,” Rep. Smith said.

“And then obviously from what we’ve seen in Ukraine, missiles, missile defense, drones and counter-drone technology is going to be where a lot of this fight is coming from,” he said.

Rep. Smith also talked about the importance of the United States’ allies and partners when looking to deal with security issues around the world.

“One of the great assets that we have, I should say are our partners. There are so many nations around the world. We’ve got all of these countries out there that have a wide variety of capabilities,” he said.

“We need to start to view our effort as more of a team,” he continued. “Not to get into the sports analogies, but you know, it’s great that you got the quarterback but you got to have everybody else who has a skill set as well,” the congressman said.

Rep. Smith concluded with a reality check on defense funding, and made it clear that tackling any issue with a blank check is not a good approach to national security.

“Imagining that you have a limitless amount of money is not the right way to approach it,” he said. “You always have to be focused on resources because you don’t have a limitless amount of them. So, we have to make choices about the best way to do that.”

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.