Science and Technology
in service of the warfare state

 

 

Research Centers, Institutes, and Large Scale Coordinations

The most indirect, but infused method scientific research is funded in universities by corporate military contractors is through established Research Centers. Many research centers are administrated by offices at one university, with researchers and labs scattered throughout other campuses, most often within the same university system. Research centers are simply organized collaborations on a larger scale.
A prime example of a research center is the University of California╠s CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society). CITRIS is administrated by UC Berkeley, and supports research on the Berkeley campus, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and the new UC Merced. Aside from the research conducted through CITRIS that actually does benefit society, there is a good deal which benefits the warfare state and its allies. In addition to the funding support CITRIS receives from DARPA and the ONR, the majority of support comes from corporations including weapons manufacturers like; Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Rockwell, TRW, Raytheon, SRI, Hughes Aircraft, United Technologies, etc. One of the major focuses of the CITRIS center will now be "Homeland Defense." Homeland Defense research will revolve around surveillance and police technologies. According to the UC,

"President Bush and the Congress have declared war on terrorism. There is now a national mandate to ensure adequate and effective homeland defense. Previous efforts to focus on large national security-related programs, such as the development of our nuclear capability and the space program, have succeeded through close cooperation between government, academia and industry. and that it is important to revisit the trilateral relationship between universities, industry and government." (8)

If we are to analyze who makes up the members of the government and industry within the "trilateral relationship" we find military and Department of Homeland Security agencies representing the government, and weapons manufacturing corporations representing industry. Through this funding system characterized by its massive scope, and entanglement with research that is for the good of society, or at least not focused on the creation of warfare technologies, weapons research is able to flourish and avoid scrutinization or exposure. In fact, by entangling socially responsible and productive research, with the scientific pursuits of war and violence, the goals of the military and its industrial allies are strengthened. It becomes more difficult for critics of such research to oppose military funded projects, and it becomes close to impossible to separate the two polar opposites; research for peace, and research for war.

FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Centers) FFRDCs are the most concerted means of cooperation between the military and American universities. The National Science Foundations provides a comprehensive definition of exactly what a FFRDC is an does;

"Research and development laboratories fill voids where in-house and private sector research and development centers are unable to meet agency core area needs. Specific objectives for these FFRDCs are to:

(1) maintain over the long-term a competency in technology areas where the Government cannot rely on in-house or private sector capabilities, and

(2) develop and transfer important new technology to the private sector so the Government can benefit from a wider, broader base of expertise. R&D laboratories engage in research programs that emphasize the evolution and demonstration of advanced concepts and technology, and the transfer or transition of technology."(9)

Of prime importance is the fact that FFRDC provide the sponsoring agency (often the US military establishment) with resources that are not available in house. For the military this means access to the best and brightest minds in the fields of engineering and science that can only be found in the university. FFRDCs allow for military access to the people and the academic settings that are absolutely critical for the genesis of new ideas and technologies. FFRDCs allow the military to shape these environments and encourage the people working within them to pursue science in the service of war.

There are presently 36 FFRDCs in the United States. The Department of Defense sponsors nine of these, with two in partnership with universities. These are the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and Lincoln Labs at MIT. Lincoln Labs was founded in 1951 out of the Radiation Lab, and Research Lab for Electronics. Lincoln Labs is a center for military research intended to encompass all technological fields related to the production of weapons and war. As the labs administrators exlain today;

"The scope of the problems has broadened from the initial emphasis on air defense to include space surveillance, missile defense, battlefield surveillance and identification, communications, and air traffic control, all supported by a strong advanced electronic technology activity."

As a center for technology transfer, from university to private industry, Lincoln Labs is responsible for such spinoff corporations as, XonTech, Inc., Sparta, Inc., Sensors Signal Systems, MITRE Corporation, all solely dedicated to weapons manufacturing.

Within California there are eight FFRDCs, four of which are administrated by Universities. Two of these are significantly militarized research centers, they are: The Lawrence Livermore National Lab managed by the University of California, and the Jet Propulsion Lab at the California Institute of Technology. The UC also manages the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, which when paired with LLNL completes the nation's two nuclear weapons labs managed by the UC and funded by the Department of Energy (for more info see UC Manages Armageddon).