But I think there are problems with getting too close to the Pentagon and then trying to operate internationally as a purported neutral information platform.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc. The military invented a lot of things "first", or at least provided the use-case and funding for a lot of things.
But that doesn't necessarily and always mean that people couldn't have invented something without military funding and uses in mind.
For example, the military probably invented the sandbag bunker, but I have one in my back yard. I am sure I would have figured out how to invent that piece of technology on my own for my own non-military needs.
So, maybe someone out there would have thought that electrified silicon is an excellent way to facilitate virtually all global communications.
"But that doesn't necessarily and always mean that people couldn't have invented something without military funding and uses in mind."
Sure, it doesn't. But funding and large number of end users combined with price-inelastic demand for your product enable product development and field testing like no other scenario does.
But I will agree that the transition to silicon would have taken another decade without the space race.
It's not so much about the Military specifically, but about public funding in general. In short: world-transformative technological innovations tend to come out of public funding, where the license to experiment, sheer volume of funding, and isolation from market pressures enables smart people to build transformative things.
So yes anyone could have invented X, but probably not if they had to operate on the market and without a money-fountain to tap into.
Thus your line of reasoning is really an argument for some degree of government and centralized planning, as opposed to total free market innovation. That Silicon Valley owes its existence to the government as much as if not more so than the free market.
As a socialist, I have no qualms about that. I'd just rather our communal resources and effort be spent on things other than the military (industrial complex). If Silicon Valley is a good thing (debatable), we could choose to make it happen without the military. It's all a matter of cultural will.