More on Universities and Militarism: University Research Initiative
Universities are a key part of the military-industrial complex. There are many parts. Here is one of them.
In information obtained about the Strategic Defense Initiative by the watchdog group Federation of American Scientists, one of the budget items listed the University Research Initiative. The University Research Initiative (URI) had three goals: “provides new knowledge and understanding for the future development of advanced military systems; improves the quality of defense research done at universities; and educates scientists and engineers in disciplines critical to defense needs, in defense-critical disciplines.”(1) It is geared toward multidisciplinary research. Another part of it is the URI Support program, which “broadens URI participation to further build national infrastructure for research and education in defense-critical fields. URI also includes the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) to help researchers purchase expensive equipment. URI is geared toward “people programs” like faculty awards, fellowships, and other programs to encourage graduate study in science and engineering.
There are four research offices through the DURIP: The Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Advanced Technology Development Directorate of the Missile Defense Agency.
With its three goals, URI has research areas it focuses on, which include electronics, fluid dynamics, biotechnology, materials, electro-optics, manufacturing-related research, and environmental science.
URI was created to funnel money to advance defense-based research in universities. Some of the examples it gave are laser weapons, a key part of Ballistic Missile Defense, and MEMS. MEMS stand for Microfabricated, ElectroMechanical Systems. Along with this goes nanotechnology, a trendy new field in technology commercialization.
The military directs research programs, and it directs them in developing new weapon systems like lasers and other directed energy weapons. The military is conscious of its decisions to get in the universities. This direction of research impacts other research more beneficial to peaceful uses. Of course the whole imperialist system is dependent on military expenditures.
Imperialism is held together by war, and the effects of this ongoing war are not felt inside the empire itself. One way to resist is to challenge the military and corporate presence in universities. As we will see New Mexico universities are heavily involved in this military and corporate alliance.
Office of the Secretary of Defense, Missile Defense, RDT&E BUDGET ITEM JUSTIFICATION SHEET, (R-2 Exhibit), March 1996, 0601103D, University Research Initiative.
DTIC University Research Support (URS)
DTIC University Research Support (URS) provides unclassified, unlimited scientific and technical information products and services to awardees under the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), and to awardees and researchers eligible for awards under the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR). MURI and DEPSCoR are elements of the Department of Defense University Research Initiative (URI), funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. URI is designed to improve the quality of research performed at universities to meet defense needs, provide expanded opportunities for interaction between universities and the DoD research community, and support fellowships and traineeships in science and engineering disciplines important to national defense.
By providing technical information services to university researchers within states eligible for DEPSCOR, DTIC assists these states to improve their research capabilities and in so doing, to improve our nation’s research capabilities. States and territories currently eligible for DEPSCoR are:
|New Mexico||North Dakota||Oklahoma|
|Puerto Rico||Rhode Island||South Carolina|
|South Dakota||Tennessee||US Virgin Islands|