Military-academic complex

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The military-academic complex, according to Nicholas Turse in "The Military-Academic Complex"[1] posted by Tom Dispatch on April 27, 2004, is one corner of "what historian Stuart W. Leslie has termed the 'golden triangle' of 'military agencies, the high technology industry, and research universities.'"

Turse begins by citing President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, in 1961, warned about "the 'unwarranted influence' of the military-industrial complex in America. Later in that decade," Turse says, "Senator J. William Fulbright spoke out against the militarization of academia, warning that, 'in lending itself too much to the purposes of government, a university fails its higher purposes.'" [2]

Statistically Speaking

According to Turse, [3]

  • 1958: Department of Defense "spent an already impressive $91 million in support of 'academic research'."
  • 1964: spending "reached $258 million."
  • 1970: "in the midst of the Vietnam War, $266 million."
  • 2003: "$615 million total [for 1958-1970], was dwarfed by the Pentagon's prime contract awards to just two schools, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University which, together, raked in a combined total of $842,437,294."

"According to a 2002 report by the Association of American Universities (AAU), almost 350 colleges and universities conduct Pentagon-funded research; universities receive more than 60% of defense basic research funding; and the DoD is the third largest federal funder of university research (after the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation).

"The AAU further notes that the Department of Defense accounts for 60% of federal funding for university-based electrical engineering research, 55% for the computer sciences, 41% for metallurgy/materials engineering, and 33% for oceanography. With the DoD's budget for research and development skyrocketing, so to speak, to $66 billion for 2004 -- an increase of $7.6 billion over 2003 -- it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Pentagon can often dictate the sorts of research that get undertaken and the sorts that don't." [4]

Department of Defense Educational System

"The NSA, however," Turse writes, "has to share the spotlight with a host of other military, militarized, or intelligence agencies and subagencies when it comes to the military-academic action: [6]

"In fact," Turse writes, "scholar Chalmers Johnson has noted in his new book on American militarism, The Sorrows of Empire, that there are approximately 150 military-educational institutions in the U.S." [7]

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