In 2002, U.S. aircraft dropped thermobaric bombs on al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Gardez, Afghanistan. Unlike blast and fragmentation munitions, these bombs created a pressure pulse that could kill deep inside winding caves. The technology was fielded in 60 days, but made possible by research begun in naval laboratories in the 1960s.1 U.S. forces long have had technological superiority that was based on research and development begun 20 to 30 years before. It's not a spigot that can be turned off and on, and there are no substitutes for defense laboratories that produce military-unique technologies. However, the nation and its defense are headed for a "perfect storm" that threatens this technological superiority—and avoiding it means making changes now.