Military Directing Scientific Research
Back in June 2001 the Defense Department stated it was pouring more research dollars into high energy lasers, microwave systems, and other advanced weapons needed to fight 21st century wars quickly and decisively. These include unmanned systems like the Predator drones. The threats in modern times are “asymmetric.
The threats are ballistic missiles with weapons of mass destruction, information operations launched from keyboards, and terrorism. These would be unconventional strategies.
The article that accompanies this says that basic defense science and technology research accounts for about 40 percent of federal support for all engineering research in universities.
The Defense Department employs 28,500 scientists and engineers in its 84 labs and research and development centers, although it was down from 42 percent, 43,000, at the end of 1990.
The U.S. needs are three: Hard problems, revolutionary war-fighting concepts, and militarily significant research areas. Hard problems include things like checking significant threats like chemical or biological weapons in a battlefield, or developing munitions to knock out bunkers.
The second area includes new technologies for the “fuller dominance of space.” They want affordable space transportation including advanced propulsion and long lasting power systems, technologies for space surveillance, and protection of U.S. assets in space.
This area is one where New Mexico is heavily involved in, with laser weapons, and Kirtlands Space Vehicles Directorates. The new spaceport being built in New Mexico likely will be used for military purposes too.
Also needed are network systems. Not only do they want to conquer space, but cyberspace too.
Directed energy weapons are key too. Advanced power systems are also needed, new batteries and fuel cells, and those that can handle high tech weapons with lasers and microwaves.
In 2003 the National Research Council recommended the Navy and Marine Corps work on developing “non-lethal” weapons.
Miriam E John of Sandia National Laboratories, who chaired the committee that prepared the report, said these weapons are essential for security on military bases and for the country. The military has been researching non-lethal weapons since 1996, mainly through the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.
the report advocated research on barriers to stop vessels, solid-state lasers, chemicals to stop engines, and psychological calmatives to stop attackers and crowds.
The report recommended the Directorate do more research on the weapons effectiveness, establish special centers to study effects on people and equipment, work with Office of Naval Research, and look into using these weapons in naval warfare.
Some weapons looked at are using drugs like Valium in a spray form to calm rioters.
There is a Pentagon-funded institute at Pennsylvania State University we have looked at earlier:
They already use tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades, and are looking at other weapons.
These are the priorities that research universities are given, spending billions on weapons of destruction and control.
“Pentagon Trains Tech For War.” Reuters. June 26, 2001. http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2780115,00.html (accessed March 18, 2002).
“Military Urged to Try Nonlethal Weapons.” Associated Press. November 4, 2002. (accessed on cnn.com November 7, 2002)