Monday, January 8, 2007

IDA's University Connections in 2005

As the Los Angeles Times observed in an August 15, 2004 article:

"During the U.S.-led attack on Iraq, the Institute for Defense Analyses provided senior Pentagon officials with assessments of the operation.

"Staff members from the institute formed part of an 18-member civilian analysis team working from the Joint Warfighting Center in Virginia.

"The operation was described in a June 3, 2003, briefing by Brigadier General Robert W. Cone of the Army. `This team did business' within the Army Central Command `on a daily basis, by observing meeting and planning sessions, attending command updates, watching key decisions being made, watching problems being solved, and generally being provided unrestricted access to the business of the conduct of this war,' Cone said, according to a transcript of the session."

The Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA]'s board of trustees in 2005 also continued to include members with connections to various U.S. universities. The University of South Carolina's president, John Palms, for example, was the chairman of the IDA's board of trustees in 2005. Sitting next to the University of South Carolina president on the Pentagon weapons think-tank board of trustees in 2005 were the Dean Emeritus of the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business, Jack Borsting, and the University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs Dean, Edwin Dorn. A lecturer at Harvard University's JFK School of Government, John White, also was a member of the IDA board of trustees in 2005. In addition, the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] Center for Genome Research, Jill Merirov, and an MIT Institute Professor, Sheila Widnall, also sat on the IDA board of trustees in 2005.

In a June 2002 report that described how MIT faculty members continue to do secret war research for the Pentagon in this current "era of permanent war and blogging", Institute for Defense Analyses Trustee Widnall wrote:

"There exist several organizations that can provide access to classified facilities to enable MIT faculty to carry out the classified portions of their research. The most prominent of these is MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, but several other organizations could also provide such access.

"The management and oversight of Lincoln Laboratory are major components of the public service that MIT carries out for the nation...MIT should continue its active management of Lincoln Laboratory to insure that...Lincoln Laboratory provides an environment that enables faculty to do research with national security implications.

"MIT and its faculty have ongoing relations with a number of independent defense-supported research laboratories such as Draper Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory, Natick Army Laboratory, and the Naval Underseas Warfare Center in Newport, R.I.. These facilities offer opportunities to strengthen our activities in research that have applications to national security. In particular, MIT should strengthen its relationship with Draper Laboratory and have access to Draper as an off-site facility for research and administrative support for faculty requiring access to classified material...

"MIT currently undertakes classified research at Lincoln Laboratory...

"We estimate that there might be as many as seventy-five members of the MIT faculty who currently hold security clearances."

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