The Military Threat to R&D

One needn't be opposed to defense spending to decry the disproportionate allocation of federal R&D funds that has gone to the military sector during the Reagan administration. The administration's budget request for fiscal year 1988 would bring to 72 percent the share of federal research dollars earmarked for defense-related programs. But a roughly three-fourths portion for military R&D is historically anomalous: from 1965 to 1980, the federal pie for R&D was divided about equally between defens

Eugene Garfield
Jun 14, 1987
One needn't be opposed to defense spending to decry the disproportionate allocation of federal R&D funds that has gone to the military sector during the Reagan administration.

The administration's budget request for fiscal year 1988 would bring to 72 percent the share of federal research dollars earmarked for defense-related programs. But a roughly three-fourths portion for military R&D is historically anomalous: from 1965 to 1980, the federal pie for R&D was divided about equally between defense and civilian programs.

In 1981 federal spending for civilian R&D amounted to $15.3 billion while military R&D received $17 billion. In the administration's 1988 request, however, civilian R&D would receive $18 billion and military R&D would total $46 billion—a nearly three-fold increase from the 1981 level. With respect to last year's budget, the 1988 request represents a 16.8 percent increase for military R&D but only a 2.8 percent increase for civilian R&D.

During the...

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