The best 4,000 words you’ll ever read about 21st-century defense procurement were written more than 60 years ago by a former Royal Air Force radar boffin, Arthur C. Clarke, who would go on to become a lauded science-fiction luminary. “Superiority” was published in Clarke’s 1953 story collection, Expedition to Earth. The setting is familiar, because it’s the backdrop for the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises: civilizations that have developed interstellar ...

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