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Pentagon chief to protect funds for cyber, space, electronic warfare

© Reuters. U.S. Secretary of Defense Carter addresses the audience at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday vowed to invest aggressively in innovative research programs and protect funding for new space, cyber and electronic warfare weapons, despite what he called a "terribly disgraceful era of budget turmoil."

Carter told a conference sponsored by DARPA, the Pentagon's research arm, that the investments were necessary given rapid technology developments by China and Russia that have started to eroded the U.S. military's competitive edge.

Top U.S. military officials began sounding urgent alarms last year about weapons advances by potential enemies, and boosted funding in areas such as space and cyber in the fiscal 2016 budget. Further...