The Center’s Senior Science Fellow Phil Coyle published an article on October 7 in Defense News on the importance of defense laboratories to U.S. national security needs. The piece, entitled “Protect U.S. Defense Labs from Budget Cuts,” argues that lab R&D helps the United States deal with uncertainty and evolving security needs. Coyle urges against cutting the budgets for the Department of Defense’s laboratories, and instead calls for the labs to be renewed. Here’s the opening of the piece:
Attacked by 30 to 40 Taliban, four Navy SEALs needed air support, but Afghan mountains blocked radio transmissions. Their leader, Lt. Michael Murphy, who is a Medal of Honor recipient, fought to an open area and radioed in support before dying of wounds. Other units had similar radio problems. In response, defense laboratory engineers have modified Iridium phones that transmit over mountains via satellites, tested them alongside war fighters in Afghanistan and helped field more than 5,000 systems.
Over the past decade, defense labs rapidly and repeatedly met such unexpected war-fighting needs. In doing so, they helped America overcome uncertainty. As defense cuts loom, these labs should be protected and improved. In future decades, they will be needed to meet even greater uncertainty.
Read the rest of the article here.