FPC Blog


Quantum Computing: America’s Key to Remaining Globally Competitive

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I. Introduction 

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” This thought-provoking quote by Albert Einstein in 1955 foreshadowed a technological revolution we now stand at the cusp of experiencing.”[1] Imagine a computer so powerful, it renders current encryption obsolete, predicts complex molecule behaviors with precision beyond comprehension, and collapses the barriers between science fiction and reality. 

Quantum computing, a radical departure from classical binary computing, utilizes the wild and counterintuitive properties of quantum mechanics to process information. By encoding data into quantum bits or ‘qubits’ that can exist in superpositions of 1 and 0, quantum computers can perform calculations exponentially faster for certain specialized problems like Prime factoring, Combinatorial optimization, Chemical simulation and Financial modeling. We now race towards building fault-tolerant, scalable quantum processors that will assuredly one day surpass even today’s most powerful supercomputers. 

China recently unveiled its new Jiuzhang quantum computer, claimed to have achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ over classical devices.[2] As the world’s two superpowers vie for quantum leadership, experts have drawn comparisons to the space race of the 20th century.[3] But the stakes today are far greater than mere technological prestige. As this blog will argue, quantum superiority is pivotal for America’s continued economic prosperity, financial security, scientific preeminence, and national defense. The quantum computing arms race is one we cannot afford to lose. 

II. The Quantum Computing Arms Race 

The quest for quantum supremacy has sparked a high-stakes technological arms race between nations. In 2019, Google achieved a milestone by performing a computation in 200 seconds that would take a classical supercomputer 10,000 years.[4] While critics argued over the exact speedup metrics, this demonstrated the potential of emerging quantum capabilities. Global tech giants like IBM now offer cloud access to quantum devices for developers and researchers worldwide to spur innovation.[5] 

However, America’s leadership position faces mounting challenges as competitors hasten their quantum programs. China aims to be the world’s “premier innovation hub” in quantum technology by 2030, backed by $15 billion in government funding.[6] With the recent launch of its Jiuzhang computer, it may soon eclipse the U.S. in qubit count and processing power. China’s patents in quantum communications also suggest aspirations in encrypting strategic backbone networks to safeguard data and connectivity.[7]

The E.U. too has bolstered quantum investment under its €1 billion Quantum Flagship initiative through 2027.[8] While the U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018 was a commendable start, critics argue substantially more funding is needed to stay ahead of these state-backed overseas 

efforts.[9],[10] Without further action, America risks being overtaken by strategic competitors, ceding both economic opportunities and security advantages. 

III. Economic Imperative for Quantum Leadership 

The economic incentives for attaining global quantum leadership are substantial. Quantum computing promises to revolutionize industries from finance to pharmaceuticals by efficiently solving complex optimization problems with real-world applications. Tasks like portfolio risk analysis, scenario modelling, drug discovery or materials design will be profoundly transformed.[11] 

By commercializing quantum capabilities early, America stands to gain a first-mover monopoly over the resulting technological innovations. The World Economic Forum estimates a $850 billion quantum industry market size by 2040 if acceleration continues at the current pace.[12] Achieving these economic upsides requires significant investments today in research infrastructure and supportive legislative policies. 

Abdicating leadership in quantum computing also risks an outflow of critical tech talent and IP overseas. The brightest American minds driving cutting-edge R&D may migrate to rival nations offering greater funding support and research freedom. Breakthroughs subsequently realized abroad may then compete against or even jeopardize American industrial interests. This human capital flight represents both an economic and security liability. 

Much as India lost waves of engineering talent and accompanying intellectual property during the rise of Silicon Valley and America’s computing industry predominance, abdicating leadership in quantum now risks a similar brain drain of critical know-how overseas. Just as droves of India’s best and brightest migrated to places like California and Texas offering abundant tech funding, research infrastructure and career prospects in the 20th century, so too may many of America’s sharpest quantum minds decamp to rival quantum hubs abroad promising greater support and resources. 

The brightest American talents driving cutting-edge advances in quantum information science today may subsequently realize their breakthroughs under foreign flags if underlying conditions better nurture progress. Prior innovations offshored this way then directly compete with and disadvantage American economic interests. Such potential human capital flight represents both missed opportunities and heightened risks as global quantum capabilities shape industries and security of coming decades. America must compete today to attract and retain the scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs capable of steering the quantum future. 

In summary, while substantial investments in quantum science carry risks, they represent America’s best bet at securing the high-value jobs, technologies and industries of the future while retaining top talent onshore. Much as failure to cultivate computing infrastructure and support decades ago prompted the outflow of technical skill from India to Silicon Valley, inaction today in the quantum arena guarantees defeat in the global innovation race. As rivals establish themselves as magnets for the world’s brightest quantum researchers with superior funding, facilities and opportunities, America must compete to attract and anchor its best and brightest agents of discovery. The alternative path of restraint all but ensures these human assets, along with associated intellectual property, migrate abroad to its detriment. Capturing the immense economic and security potential of quantum requires laying the foundation now to nurture quantum expertise domestically. 

IV. Security Dependency on Quantum Capabilities 

Quantum computing also poses major disruptive threats to current encryption standards, imperiling national security systems. Much of today’s public key cryptography relies on the extreme 

computational difficulty of factoring large prime numbers. However, quantum algorithms like Shor’s can efficiently crack such schemes once sufficiently powerful quantum computers exist.[13] 

This vulnerability, dubbed ‘Y2Q,’ requires a proactive security transition to ‘post-quantum’ encryption resistant to quantum attacks.[14] Government agencies like NIST have already begun standardizing new algorithms. However, without matching offensive quantum capabilities, America loses its strategic information edge. Quantum hacking could decrypt even guarded networks. More concerning, gaps in our cyber defenses could leave critical infrastructure, weapons systems, and intelligence tools exposed.[15]

Moreover, the unique coupling of quantum computing with artificial intelligence and machine learning may profoundly impact surveillance, cyberwarfare, and military operations. China’s advances here also pose an asymmetric threat against conventional forces. Technological surprise attacks could cripple naval, aerospace and C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities without firing a shot, as some experts warn.[16] America must compete across emerging technologies to effectively deter rising state rivals. 

In effect, blocking adversary quantum progress helps maintain technical superiority, while controlled mutual escalation may counter-intuitively enhance stability through restored mutual vulnerability.[17] But absent quantum investments now, America invites catastrophic losses. 

V. Funding a Quantum Future 

Realizing the economic windfalls and security imperatives of quantum leadership compels dedicated funding commitments today by both government and private sector. However, short-term pressures often constrain investments in exploratory science. This market failure requires public support and visionary leadership to help quantum technology transcend the ‘valley of death’ before commercial viability.[18]

The U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act authorized $1.2 billion through the Department of Energy, NSF, and NIST to accelerate quantum research over 5 years alongside industry partners.[19] While laudable, experts argue outlays should exceed $10 billion over the next decade to remain competitive, on par with the Apollo moon shot if not the Manhattan Project.[20], [21] Otherwise, America risks squandering its lead. Only such large, sustained and coordinated commitments can nurture a thriving quantum ecosystem. 

Just as Reagan aggressively expanded defense programs like the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or “Star Wars” in the 1980s to undermine the Soviet Union and catalyze its collapse, the U.S. must similarly commit to an exponential increase in quantum computing research and infrastructure spending today. 

Reagan announced SDI to build high-tech anti-ballistic laser defense systems amid Cold War tensions, forcing the Soviets to dramatically increase military outlays they could not afford to try to compete. This pressure on an already strained Soviet economy is seen by experts as a key factor in its ultimate dissolution. 

Today, the specter of a technologically ascendant China appropriating the fruits of the 21st century quantum revolution threatens the heart of American leadership and our way of life. Make no mistake, the CCP’s totalitarian ambitions have global economic windfalls and military dominance clearly in sight should they claim victory in the unfolding quantum arms race. However, Washington’s current 

inept tepid funding commitments like the $1.2 billion National Quantum Initiative Act utterly fail to meet the scale and urgency of this threat. 

As patriots, it is this writers opinion that we the people must demand unprecedented national investment in quantum science with outlays exceeding $250 billion over this decisive decade – easily 10 to 12 times the scale of the Manhattan Project in today’s dollars adjusted for inflation. Such resources alone reflect the unwavering commitment required to anchor America’s continued preeminence. Ziad Abdelnour, the FPC’s founder and CEO stated that “This is our generation’s ‘Sputnik’ moment and America’s very survival as the world’s shining city upon a hill. Either we marshal the full financial arsenal of this proud nation to unleash our unmatched innovative potential or relinquish our hard-fought prosperity to the siren call of totalitarianism. But if invigorated by patriotic fervor, American ingenuity will prevail.” Onwards without hesitation to quantum victory! Through quantum, the future remains ours to command. 

Such a sizeable “Quantum New Deal” on the order of the post-WWII Marshall Plan would attract droves of researchers and entrepreneurs stateside while prohibiting rivals from matching American’s commitments. Just like Reagan’s gambit, an asymmetric investment in quantum technology today can debilitate potential foes who attempt to keep up, all while spurring innovations that enhance prosperity and security for years to come. The choice is clear – continue incremental funding and cede our future or elevate quantum to become the defining scientific mission of this era. Our actions now determine whether the 21st century has an owner, or we comprehend too late the gravity of strategic folly. 

Critics questioning these expenditures should recognize that the fruits of discovery today enable the consumer conveniences taken for granted tomorrow — much as past investments in semiconductor research or satellite technology now underpin modern existence. Already quantum advances in fields like chemistry and medicine show societal promise. Further funding expands possibilities science cannot yet fathom, but markets alone cannot achieve. 

America’s future prosperity and security hinge on decisions made now at this crossroads of history. Quantum computing power might help uplift human progress through superior medicines, materials, models and beyond — or dangerously destabilize global affairs. By rising to this occasion, we choose which potential timeline we step into. 

As patriotic investors, we can channel capital to propel national quantum leadership while benefiting our portfolios by targeting public companies in this domain. Enterprises like Honeywell (HON on NASDAQ), IBM (IBM on NYSE), Rigetti Computing (RGTI on NASDAQ) and IonQ (IONQ on NYSE) are pioneering quantum computing hardware and algorithms – attractive platforms for exposure. 

Major defense contractors including Lockheed Martin (LMT on NYSE), Northrop Grumman (NOC on NYSE), and BAE Systems (BAESY on OTC) also maintain internal projects or external partnerships to develop quantum technologies for national security applications. And niche players like quantum sensor manufacturer Absolute Quantum (ABSOL on NASDAQ), quantum cryptography firm Quantum Xchange (QX on NASDAQ) and software developer 1Qbit further round out investment options across this high-growth arena. 

The quantum industry remains in its infancy today but presents immense economic potential. By investing in companies along the quantum value chain that align with America’s interests, we stimulate innovation ecosystems that enhance prosperity and national standing for decades to come. 

As with any emerging technology, appropriate risk-reward analyses are prudent prior to allocating capital. However, in the quantum sector, the crossroads of financial prospects and patriotic duties 

uniquely converge to offer attractive asymmetric opportunities for consideration by sophisticated investors and stewards of American leadership alike. 

Disclaimer: However, when assessing any investments, it is important to note that trading securities involves financial risks. Readers should perform their own research, analysis, and consult investment professionals before making any decisions. 

VI. Quantum Springboard for Scientific Innovation 

Beyond economic impacts, progress in quantum information science also serves as a springboard for broader scientific advances that improve quality of life. The complex challenges of engineering exotic quantum states fuels basic research with spillover benefits across disciplines from material science to precision sensing. Quantum scientists now routinely leverage knowledge and techniques from optics, nano-fabrication, cryogenics, microwave engineering and more — creating opportunities to stretch the boundaries of what’s possible.[22] 

These scientific capabilities enabled by quantum research have useful real-world applications. Quantum atomic clocks currently underpin GPS systems and enable autonomous vehicles by delivering ultra-precise timekeeping. Quantum sensors utilizing entanglement and superposition will boost biomedical imaging, mineral exploration, or earthquake monitoring.[23] Fault-tolerant quantum computers could themselves simulate complex chemical and biological processes leading to groundbreaking discoveries in areas like drug development.[24]  

The ignite effect of catalyzing new paradigms beyond solely quantum computing also has geopolitical influence. Much as the space race galvanized a generation and signaled national scientific strength, leading the quantum frontier flags capabilities. Excellence in frontier research attracts global talent essential for knowledge economies. However, ceding ground risks brain drain abroad. Sustained quantum investments today secure American preeminence in emerging technologies tomorrow, with side benefits rippling across sectors. 

VII. Financial Policy Council Advocating for Quantum Progress 

Guiding America’s path through the quantum frontier requires policy advocacy from experts spanning government, academia, and industry. As a non-partisan economic Think tank, the Financial Policy Council (FPC) helps fill this role by providing critical insights to foster innovation, growth, and opportunity.[25]  

The FPC’s network of finance, technology and public policy leaders offers crucial perspective on crafting effective legislative agendas. Backed by rigorous research, the FPC formulates guidance and recommendations centered on long-term prosperity and security. Recent policy blogs argue for enhanced funding mechanisms for quantum and emerging technologies essential for 21st century strategic needs. [26]

Additionally, the FPC acts as an interface between political decision-makers, private investors, and academic researchers to help connect quantum-related initiatives. This builds awareness in governing agencies on quantum developments relevant for commerce and defense. It also links entrepreneurs and technologists exploring nascent ideas to potential public & private sector partners or other avenues of support. 

Finally, the FPC helps contextualize the global quantum landscape for the American public through presentations, blogs, and media engagement. Scientifically complex subjects like quantum tech require clear communication to taxpayers who ultimately fund critical discovery research. Helping 

convey both wondrous opportunities and sobering risks shapes public discourse essential for balanced policymaking going forward.[27]

In an era of uncertainty and change, institutions like the Financial Policy Council serve an orienting purpose – stimulating progress while still bearing in mind enduring American ideals of free enterprise. The FPC’s continued guidance navigating the quantum frontier will remain vital as the coming revolution unfolds. “The choice is before us: Technological marvels or national deterioration.” 

VIII. Conclusion 

Fellow Patriots, as we stand at this pivotal juncture in history, the urgency to act in the quantum computing arena has never been more critical. Our nation’s future, the very essence of American liberty and innovation, hinges on our collective response to the quantum revolution. This is not just a warning but a stark reality – we must fully commit to advancing our nation’s quantum computing and artificial intelligence capabilities or risk not only falling behind but becoming subservient to those who lead this technological charge. 

Quantum Power, America’s Finest Hour” must be more than a slogan; it must become our unified battle cry. Every man, woman, and child must unite in this cause, for if we do not win the Quantum Computer war, we face relegation to the dustbin of history – a fate reminiscent of once-great civilizations that fell due to inaction and misjudgment. Remember the fall of the Roman Empire, brought low not by external forces alone but by internal decay and inability to respond to changing threats. Consider the Greek City-States, consumed by Macedon due to their disunity and lack of foresight. Reflect on the Byzantine Empire, which fell to the Ottomans as they clung to outdated strategies and underestimations of a rising power. And let us not forget the stark lesson of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany, a policy that led not to peace but to the horrors of a World War. 

This battle requires every citizen’s engagement, from those in our schools learning about quantum mechanics to our scientists and politicians spearheading innovation and policy. The stark choice before us is clear: Either we invest wholeheartedly in quantum computing, dedicating an unprecedented $250 billion to achieve dominance in this field, or we prepare to see our cherished freedoms eclipsed by totalitarian regimes at the forefront of this revolution. Quantum technology is not just about technological supremacy; it’s about preserving our way of life, our values, and our national sovereignty. 

Quantum computing is not a distant future; it is the present knocking vehemently at our door. To those who hesitate, who question the need for such vigorous investment, remember this – inaction is the ally of our adversaries. A moment’s delay, a flicker of doubt, could be the difference between leading the free world or being subjugated under the yoke of those who would use quantum supremacy to undermine democracy and freedom. 

We must rally as a nation – from the halls of Congress to the streets of our smallest towns. Call upon your representatives, demand unwavering support for quantum prioritization. Vote for leaders who recognize the gravity of this moment and are committed to securing America’s technological and democratic future. Educate your communities, mobilize every resource at our disposal, for the quantum era is upon us, and it waits for no one. 

Our historical precedence in leading technological revolutions – from aviation to the space race, from the internet to now, quantum computing – is a testament to our nation’s ingenuity and resolve. We are at a similar precipice now, and the path we choose will determine our global standing for centuries to 

come. Other nations are not waiting; they are aggressively pursuing quantum computing. We must not only match but exceed their fervor and commitment. 

The time for debate has passed. The future is calling, and it speaks in the language of quantum computing. Let us rise to this occasion, united in purpose and action. “Quantum Power, America’s Finest Hour” will be the anthem that guides us to a future where America’s quantum leadership heralds a new era of freedom, prosperity, and scientific triumph. 

The Financial Policy Council stands as a testament to our commitment to these ideals, offering a platform for policy experts, innovators, and citizens to converge in shaping a quantum-empowered future for America. Join us in this noble endeavor. The hour of destiny is upon us – let us seize it with the full might of American spirit and resolve. Onward to victory, to a future where America’s quantum leadership heralds a new era of freedom, prosperity, and scientific triumph! 

This blog is not a doomsday prediction – every creator of advanced large language models has predicted the same for AI, but quantum computing added to AI makes it a super volcano time bomb that will destroy America and perhaps the world as we know it. Act now or prepare for the annihilation of the American way of life. Onward to victory, to a future where America’s quantum leadership heralds a new era of freedom, prosperity, and scientific triumph! 

Visit www.financialpolicycouncil.org for access to blogs and resources concentrated on quantum technological innovation. Connect with policy experts and advisors and engage in discussions aimed at prioritizing quantum progress for America’s future. Together, we can support initiatives that secure economic prosperity, protect national defense, and catalyze scientific discovery – spearheading quantum leadership for the 21st century. 

The FPC serves as an independent platform to explore America’s complex scientific and technological challenges, empowering stakeholders from various backgrounds to share insights and innovative ideas that can foster progress in the quantum domain for the benefit of all Americans. 

#quantumcomputing #quantumarmsrace #quantecon #quantumsecurity #quantuminvest #quantumsprint 

Footnotes: 

  1. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/20604-the-important-thing-is-not-to-stop-questioning-curiosity-has 
  2. Light-based quantum computer Jiuzhang achieves quantum supremacy | Science News. 
  3. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/whp-origins/era-7-the-great-convergence-and-divergence-1880-ce-to-the-future/x23c41635548726c4:other-materials-origins-era-7/a/arms-race-space-race 
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_supremacy 
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-01644-3
  6. https://thediplomat.com/2023/01/the-china-us-quantum-race/ and https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/the-world-today/2023-10/quantum-technology-competition-must-not-become-arms-race
  7. https://asiatimes.com/2023/10/china-unveils-faster-light-based-quantum-computer/
  8. https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/quantum-technologies-flagship
  9. https://quantumcomputingreport.com/how-the-u-s-national-quantum-initiative-act-might-change-when-it-is-renewed/
  10. https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/12/22/138149/president-trump-has-signed-a-12-billon-law-to-boost-us-quantum-tech/
  11. https://www.afcea.org/signal-media/technology/current-state-quantum-computing
  12. https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/quantum-technology-sees-record-investments-progress-on-talent-gap
  13. https://www.csis.org/analysis/moving-toward-all-above-approach-quantum-cybersecurity
  14. https://www.spiceworks.com/it-security/security-general/guest-article/post-quantum-cryptography-nine-industries-at-risk-from-y2q/
  15. https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2023/08/nist-standardize-encryption-algorithms-can-resist-attack-quantum-computers
  16. Quantum technology for military applications | EPJ Quantum Technology | Full Text (springeropen.com) and https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/technology/digital-world/quantum-computing-and-ai/
  17. https://www.nato.int/docu/review/articles/2021/06/03/quantum-technologies-in-defence-security/index.html
  18. https://www.quantum.gov/
  19. https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/01/06/1066317/whats-next-for-quantum-computing/
  20. Net Interest Will Total $10.5 Trillion Over the Next Decade | Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (crfb.org). 
  21. https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2023/02/interest-costs-on-the-national-debt-are-on-track-to-reach-a-record-high
  22. https://nap.nationalacademies.org/resource/26850/QIS_Highlights.pdf
  23. https://spectrum.ieee.org/quantum-entanglement-2665810157
  24. https://medium.com/maki-vc/qubits-nisq-and-fault-tolerance-the-new-era-of-quantum-computing-explained-77e4856c98a2
  25. About FPC. Financial Policy Council. https://financialpolicycouncil.org 
  26. https://financialpolicycouncil.org 
  27. “The choice is before us: Technological marvels or national deterioration.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour 
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