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COMING JULY 9TH

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AN INSIDER LOOK AT THE ELITE PENTAGON UNIT DEVOTED TO BRINGING SILICON VALLEY'S CUTTING-EDGE TECH TO THE U.S. MILITARY: TOLD BY THE TWO MEN WHO BUILT IT.

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"Inspiring . . . a riveting reminder of how hard protecting our nation's security can be, and how much depends on the ingenuity of a select few. A must-read."

WALTER ISAACSON, New York Times bestselling author of STEVE JOBS and ELON MUSK

A vast and largely unseen transformation of how war is fought as profound as the invention of gunpowder or advent of the nuclear age is occurring. Flying cars that can land like helicopters, artificial intelligence-powered drones that can fly into buildings and map their interiors, microsatellites that can see through clouds and monitor rogue missile sites—all these and more are becoming part of America’s DIU-fast-tracked arsenal.

Until recently, the Pentagon was known for its uncomfortable relationship with Silicon Valley and for slow-moving processes that acted as a brake on innovation. Unit X was specifically designed as a bridge to Valley technologists that would accelerate bringing state of the art software and hardware to the battle space. Given authority to cut through red tape and function almost as a venture capital firm, Shah, Kirchhoff, and others in the Unit who came after were tasked particularly with meeting immediate military needs with technology from Valley startups rather than from so-called “primes”—behemoth companies like Lockheed, Raytheon, and Boeing.

Taking us inside AI labs, drone workshops, and battle command centers—and, also, overseas to Ukraine’s frontlines—Shah and Kirchhoff paint a fascinating picture of what it takes to stay dominant in a fast-changing and often precarious geopolitical landscape.

In an era when America’s chief rival, China, has ordered that all commercial firms within its borders make their research and technology available for military exploitation, strengthening the relationship between Washington and Silicon Valley was always advisable. Today, it is an urgent necessity.

"RIVETING. Essential reading for understanding how technology will change the future of warefare.

CHRIS MILLER, New York Times bestselling author of Chip War

"TERRIFYING BUT ALSO HOPEFUL. Rouses more curiosity about what happens next than anything I might have binge-watched."

REID HOFFMAN, cofounder of LinkedIn

"VIVID STORYTELLING . . . Raj Shah and Christopher Kirchhoff show how it's possible to fight for change in institutions designed to sustain the status quo."

ADAM GRANT, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Potential and Think Again

"ILLUMINATING, behind-the-scenes examination of the numerous, critical, and sometimes competing efforts inside the Pentagon to change the way it does business."

General David Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Director of the CIA; and author of the New York Times bestseller, Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to Ukraine

"ENGAGING AND IMPORTANT. The story of a trailblazing Pentagon unit designed to harness American intellect, spur innovation, and maximize entrepreneurship so that peace will be preserved and the free world defended."

Lieut. General H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army (Ret.), former National Security Adviser, and New York Times bestselling author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

TAKE A LOOK INSIDE UNIT X

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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RAJ M. SHAH

Raj M. Shah is a serial technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and former director of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit. He is currently the managing partner of Shield Capital, an investment firm focused on technologies at the nexus of commercial and national security applications. He started his career as an F-16 pilot in the Air National Guard and continues to serve part time. He obtained an AB degree from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania.

CHRISTOPHER KIRCHHOFF

Christopher Kirchhoff, an expert in emerging technology, helped create the Defense Innovation Unit, which he continues to advise for. During the Obama administration, he was the director of strategic planning for the National Security Council and senior civilian adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Chris obtained an AB degree from Harvard College and a PhD in social and political sciences from Cambridge University.

About the Authors
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