Statement Calls for Robust Support of Defense S&T Program

Share This

Publication date: 
7 May 2008

The Coalition for National Security Research, to which the American Institute of Physics belongs, has just released a Fiscal Year 2009 Funding Statement. "CNSR urges that the renewed focus on basic research be approved in conjunction with achieving the Pentagon's stated goal of three percent of the Department's budget be spent for the Defense S&T program -- 6.1 basic research, 6.2 applied research, and 6.3 advanced technology development," the Statement recommends. CNSR applauded the Bush Administration's request to substantially increase FY 2009 funding for the 6.1 basic research program.

The three percent goal refers to a figure that was recommended in the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review, based on an earlier Defense Science Board report. Last August, John Young, Director, Defense Research and Engineering, sent a memo to Defense Secretary Robert Gates warning "DOD's Science and Technology investment may be inadequate to meet the imposing security threats that challenge our Nation and may not be adequately robust to take advantage of key scientific and technological opportunities that offer breakthrough advantages to our warfighters." Young called for a sustained increase in basic research funding as well as allocating 3.0 percent allocation of the overall defense budget for the science and technology programs. Under Young's memo, 6.1 funding would increase through FY 2013.

Twenty-nine scientific associations, universities, and other organizations who are members of the Coalition for National Security Research endorsed the below statement, and are listed following the statement.

"Coalition for National Security Research
Fiscal Year 2009 Funding Statement

"The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR) is gratified and appreciative of the renewed commitment to 6.1 basic research shown by the Administration in its FY2009 budget. We are encouraged by the Administration’s movement toward meeting the recommendation in the Rising Above the Gathering Storm report that called for a 10-percent increase in defense basic research. The proposed $300 million increase for competitive basic research funding represents a major step toward ensuring that our country’s future national and economic security needs are met. CNSR welcomes this acknowledgement of the importance of basic research.

"CNSR urges that the renewed focus on basic research be approved in conjunction with achieving the Pentagon's stated goal of three percent of the Department's budget be spent for the Defense S&T program – 6.1 basic research, 6.2 applied research, and 6.3 advanced technology development.

"The 6.1 basic research accounts support the long-term scientific discovery that provides the foundational knowledge for the next technologic advances. The 6.2 applied research accounts refine discoveries by exploring and determining the operational parameters and practicality of the technology to military needs. The 6.3 advanced technology development accounts support the creation of larger-scale hardware and technology to be tested in realistic environments. The components of the Defense S&T enterprise are inextricably intertwined and should not be viewed as separate. Rather, they represent complementary segments of a single R&D continuum.

"Defense S&T programs also provide education and training opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers by supporting graduate students and postdocs on research grants. Additionally, Defense S&T programs provide fellowship opportunities for top undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. These individuals will lead and guide technological advancements that will shape future defense technologies. Sustained research and technological advances are made possible not only by supporting the best and brightest scientists, but also simultaneously cultivating the next generation of intellectual talent.

"Defense S&T programs are the foundation for U.S. technological superiority on the battlefield and protecting U.S. military personnel and equipment. These programs are critical to our nation's security. We request that Congress and the Administration work cooperatively to ensure that the entire Defense S&T budget is funded in FY2009 at a level sufficient to meet current and future military needs.

"We appreciate the difficult choices Congress must make in a tight fiscal environment and respectfully ask for full consideration of this request."

American Institute of Physics
American Mathematical Society
American Psychological Association
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Association of American Universities
Carnegie Mellon University
Coalition of EPSCoR States
Computing Research Association
Cornell University
Duke University
Georgia Tech
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Research Society
Michigan State University
National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
Purdue University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey
Semiconductor Industry Association
Semiconductor Research Corporation
The Ohio State University
University of Michigan
University of Pittsburgh
University of Southern California
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Vanderbilt University
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute


Explore FYI topics: