(Bloomberg) — The Defense Department is seeking a newcollaboration with Silicon Valley to gain access to the latesttechnology and talent as the U.S. seeks to preventcatastrophic cyber-attacks.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made his pitch for cooperationon Thursday, in the first official visit in 20 years by a Pentagonchief to the Northern California region that spawned much of theworld's advanced technology. The effort comes amid warnings bydefense officials that the U.S. military is losing itstechnological edge over potential rivals, including China.

Carter, a trained physicist, may have the intellectualcandlepower to meet Silicon Valley's leaders on equal footing. Buthis call for closer ties is likely to meet resistance fromhigh-tech executives still fuming over government spying disclosedby former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

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