Pentagon Chief of Software Resigns Claiming China Already Won the AI War

Former Pentagon software chief Nicolas Chaillan has resigned, saying China has already won the digital battle, ensuring worldwide domination and calling U.S. government systems “kindergarten level” in contrast to China.

The New York Post reports, Chaillan, 37, told the Financial Times that there is “good reason to be angry” about the United States’ failure to respond to China’s cyber threat and that he fears it is jeopardizing his children’s future. Chaillan also said, “We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over, in my opinion.” Chaillan also plans to speak before Congress on China’s cyber danger to U.S. supremacy.

According to Western intelligence assessments, China is the world’s second-biggest economy and is expected to dominate several major new technologies, including artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and genetics, in about a decade.

Chaillan, who was the Pentagon’s first top software officer, believes China will rule the globe’s future by commanding everything from media narratives to geopolitics. He argues that, like Beijing, the United States should have focused on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cyber capabilities rather than traditional military investments such as fighter jets.

Chaillan slammed Google for refusing to collaborate on AI with the U.S. Defense Department, while Chinese businesses must collaborate with the government. Additionally, he stated that the U.S. had spent too much time discussing AI ethics while China made a “massive investment” and ignored ethical issues.

In a letter announcing his resignation on LinkedIn, Chaillan stated, “I realize more clearly than ever before that, in 20 years from now, our children, both in the United States and our Allies, will have no chance competing in a world where China has the drastic advantage of population over the U.S.”

He continued, “If the U.S. can’t match the booming, hardworking population in China, we have to win by being smarter, more efficient, and forward-leaning through agility, rapid prototyping, and innovation. We have to be ahead and lead. We can’t afford to be behind.” Chaillan also said, “While we wasted time in bureaucracy, our adversaries moved further ahead.”

The secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall, said he reviewed Chaillan’s ideas with him and praised him for his efforts, according to an Air Force representative.

Chaillan’s resignation comes as tensions in Asia are at an all-time high following the Chinese Communist Party’s announcement of its plans to acquire Taiwan. Chinese state-controlled media reportedly warned that the CCP “will have little choice but to take Taiwan to the battlefield” following comments from Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, promising to fight threats from Beijing. The paper also accused Tsai of inflaming tensions and said that “resisting reunification by force will only bring doom more quickly.”


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