The Bush Administration recommended a 4.9% reduction in FY 2004 funding for the science and technology programs of the Department of Defense. Under its request, funding would fall from the current FY 2003 enacted level of $10,763 million to $10,232 million in FY 2004.
One perspective on this funding level is provided by the Quadrennial Defense Review, which recommended that 3% of the total Defense Department budget be provided to the S&T programs. The total request is $379.9 billion, of which 2.68% is allocated to the three S&T programs.
Another perspective is from last Monday's Pentagon briefing. Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) Dov Zakheim stated the following:
"Science and technology. We are below the enacted request. What's interesting is how little below the request we are. Congress has, in its wisdom, added programs to our science-and-technology budget that really don't have an obvious connection to defense programs -- breast-cancer research, truly a highly-praised program, but the connection to Defense is a little bit of a stretch. And there are a number of those.
"Our objective is to fund to 3 percent of our Defense budget for science and technology. And let me explain; science and technology includes the early stages of research and -- actually all the stages of research and the early stages of development.
"So it includes the scientist in the lab who is doing some work that might relate to something to do with Defense but isn't really -- you know, it's materials technology; isn't really focused on whether this is a material that will be important for an aircraft or a tank or ship; just materials technology. It's terribly important; you need those kinds of breakthroughs. That is at the very basic end.
"And science and technology includes some development, but only the early stages, things that are being put together in the laboratory. But, again, you're not really exactly sure how to play out into a program.
"One of the reasons we're not moving more quickly, and there is a positive slope -- two years ago we funded 2.67 percent; now it's a hundredth of a percent higher. Last year it was a hundredth of a percent higher, and again this year. One of the reasons is, particularly on the missile-defense side, we have moved from a research program to a true development program.
"Once you get into later stages of development, you're talking about fielding things. And you can see -- I mean, the interceptors that were in a previous slide, those are items that -- they're development items. They're not the final, fully-blown product, but they're real. And we have emphasized development, not to penalize science and technology, but simply not to move as quickly with it as we might have hoped. As I say, Congress funds to a greater extent than we do, but not necessarily for the things that we would assign priorities to."
The following figures on the Defense request were provided by the Coalition for National Security Research. The 82-page Pentagon document these figures are based on, the R-1, can be accessed at http://www.defenselink.mil/comptroller/defbudget/fy2004/ Note that the Defense Department appropriations bill for FY 2003 has been enacted; the figures below represent changes between the current budget and that requested by the Bush Administration. Also note that some of the defense-wide programs, such as those funded by DARPA, have been shifted to the service branches.
AGGREGATE 6.1 (basic research) funding would decline 7.6%
AGGREGATE 6.2 (applied research) funding would decline 14.3%
AGGREGATE 6.3 (advanced technology development) funding would increase 3.9%
TOTAL AGGREGATE 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 funding would decline 4.9%, from $10,763 million to $10,232 million.
ARMY 6.1 funding would increase 40.6%
ARMY 6.2 funding would decline 25.3%
ARMY 6.3 funding would decline 22.5%
TOTAL AGGREGATE ARMY 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 funding would decline 16.4%, from $2,142 million to $1,790 million.
NAVY 6.1 funding would increase 10.9%
NAVY 6.2 funding would decline 33.5%
NAVY 6.3 funding would decline 11.2%
TOTAL AGGREGATE NAVY 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 funding would decline 15.6%, from $2,031 million to $1,715 million.
AIR FORCE 6.1 funding would increase 47.7%
AIR FORCE 6.2 funding would decline 8.6%
AIR FORCE 6.3 funding would increase 62.8%
TOTAL AGGREGATE AIR FORCE 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 funding would decline 23.5% from $2,911 million to $2,226 million.
DEFENSE-WIDE 6.1 funding would decline 65.5%
DEFENSE-WIDE 6.2 funding would decline 3.4%
DEFENSE WIDE 6.3 funding would increase 3.1%
TOTAL AGGREGATE DEFENSE-WIDE funding would decline 7.0% from $4,839 million to $4,501 million.