There’s increasing concern that as scary as this period feels—between Russia’s two-year war in Ukraine and Hamas’s ongoing war with Israel—that all of this will come to be seen as the calm before the storm. Should China decide to move against Taiwan in some way, then we’ll have war in three regions, and U.S. involvement in all three. Or perhaps by then it will not seem like separate wars, but a single global one.
Most Americans in the last fifty years, and certainly since the end of the Cold War, have lived in the luxury of safety. We live in a place where peace and security—crime and riots aside—are generally taken for granted. But a lot of Americans had a serious wake-up call after October 7, when a country with a high-tech security fortress was overwhelmed by terrorists on motorcycles and trucks and paragliders.
Could this happen here? Who is actually coming over our border? If we had to fight for our country, who would actually show up?
Today’s Honestly guests had that wake-up call long before the wars in Ukraine or Gaza. They’re investing their time, money, and resources into building a better American defense. And in the past few months especially, their work has come to be seen as prescient.
Palmer Luckey is a 31-year-old software engineer and entrepreneur. At the age of 19, Palmer founded the virtual reality company Oculus, which was originally supposed to be sold on Kickstarter as a virtual reality prototype for VR nerds and enthusiasts. Instead, it was acquired by Facebook for more than $2 billion. Then, when he was 25, he founded Anduril Industries, an $8.5 billion company that develops drones, autonomous vehicles, submarines, rockets, and software for military use.
Katherine Boyle is a Washington Post reporter turned venture capitalist; she is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and the co-founder of the firm’s American Dynamism arm, which invests in companies that build to support the national interest.
Joe Lonsdale is a co-founder of Palantir (along with Peter Thiel and others) and founder and general partner of the firm 8VC, which backed Anduril in its early days.
They are each attempting to disrupt the defense marketplace, bring Silicon Valley’s speed, creativity, and innovation to defense, advance our national security, and, you know. . . save America.
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