CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — President Donald Trump’s administration is throwing its support to a Barack Obama-era effort enlisting startup companies to come up with solutions to the military’s toughest technological challenges.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis made his first visit Thursday to the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, a 2-year-old effort that’s investing in private companies building experimental drones, new cybersecurity technology and advanced communications systems for soldiers.

Mattis said he expect…
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