Recently, Secretary Defense James Mattis visited Jeff Bezos at the Amazon.com headquarters in Seattle. Most media accounts touched on the feud that President Trump has picked with the tech mogul, mainly because of the Washington Post which Bezos owns. The subject of the discussion was not disclosed, but one can guess considering the businesses Bezos has developed.

In war amateurs study tactics while experts study logistics

Most people regard war fighting as people killing other people and breaking their stuff. That process is certainly the result of waging war. However, getting the tools and supplies of war fighting into the hands of the warriors in the cheapest, most expeditious way is the key to victory.

The problem that generals wrestle with is how to get the right tools and supplies to the troops at the time and place they need them.

Amazon has perfected the science of shipping stuff to people, having developed the biggest online store on the planet. One can buy anything from books to power tools from Amazon and get them within a couple of days. The giant online store is developing a food delivery business that is based on the meals ready to eat technology that has been of such benefit to the military. Thus, Mattis, no doubt feels that Amazon has much to teach where it comes to supply chain technology.

Space launch technology

The other business that Bezos is developing is space launch technology as part of his Blue Origin company. Blue Origin has already tested a totally reusable suborbital rocket called New Shepard that is envisioned for taking tourists to and from the edge of space.

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The company is developing an orbital launch vehicle called New Glenn that will also be reusable.

Blue Origin does not get the sort of press that Elon Musk’s SpaceX does, mainly because the former company has not started offering operational, commercial services. However, the New Glenn threatens to leap frog both the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy. The effect of such technology will have on the United States Military’s capacity to wage war cannot be overestimated.

Increasingly, the ability to prevail in armed conflicts will depend on space power. The United States military already relies heavily on communications, reconnaissance, and navigation satellites. These assets will be increasingly under threat from Chinese and Russian space weapons. The United States will develop space weapons of its own, to strike at enemy assets and as a means to missile defense. Cheap, reliable launch vehicles such as the one Blue Origin is developing will be the key to establishing and maintaining space superiority.