As quantum technologies exit the lab and find their way into dual-use applications, some observers have pointed to a new era of ‘quantum warfare’ emerging. For example, quantum technologies could potentially enable highly secure communications and navigation without GPS. These advances could disrupt current assumptions around how warfare is conducted and give certain countries a strategic advantage, potentially shifting the balance of power. At the same time, there is no consensus around when quantum technologies are expected to mature sufficiently to have this kind of impact, although some reports point to the 2030s as a plausible timeframe. This roundtable explores what might happen in between, looking at the next decade and beyond to identify key trends to look out for.
Michal Krelina is a quantum security consultant, analyst, and strategist emphasising cyber, space, and defence applications. Michal works as a research scientist at the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague, a quantum security expert at the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), and is the founder and principal consultant at Quantum Phi. His professional and academic interests include mapping quantum technology military applications, exploring quantum technology roles in future conflicts, quantum technology risk and threat assessments, the convergence of quantum and classical cybersecurity, and quantum technology’s impact on international security and peace. Michal is also an experienced consultant for various defence, law enforcement, governmental, and international organisations such as NATO ACT, NATO JAPCC, and IISS, as well as advising venture capital firms and quantum startups. He has a PhD in high-energy theoretical particle and nuclear physics from CTU and was a postdoc at the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria and CCTVal in Valparaiso, Chile and Physikalisches Institut at Heidelberg University, Germany.
Edward Parker is a Physical Scientist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organisation based in the United States. He mainly focuses on the national security implications of quantum technology and post-quantum cryptography, although he has also researched other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G as well as the semiconductor supply chain. His recent publications include a comparative assessment of the US and Chinese industrial bases in quantum technology, policy steps for promoting cooperation with allied nations in quantum R&D, and innovative steps that the US government could take to encourage the rapid adoption of post-quantum cryptography. Before coming to RAND, he received a PhD in hard condensed-matter theoretical physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he computationally modeled quantum magnetic materials that could eventually be used to build quantum computers.
Manoj Harjani is a Research Fellow in the Military Transformations Programme (MTP) within the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Prior to joining MTP, Manoj was part of the Future Issues and Technology research cluster at RSIS, where he worked on building up the school’s research agenda and networks at the intersection of science, technology, and national security. Manoj began his career in the Singapore Public Service, with stints at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Centre for Strategic Futures, where he held roles focusing on analysing long-term trends and building up public sector capabilities in futures thinking and scenario planning. He was also part of a team at the Public Service Division under the Prime Minister’s Office which led an initiative to build the public sector workforce’s digital capabilities. Manoj holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the National University of Singapore.