Thursday, January 4, 2007

Why IDA Must Go--Part 2

During the Vietnam War Era, anti-war students at Columbia University explained why they felt Columbia University should sever all connections to the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in a leaflet which included the following text:

"Recent IDA Projects Further Reflect The New Emphasis In Counterinsurgency. Titles Include:

"`The Worth of Target Kill Assessment Systems';
"`Airborne Night Television Reconnaissance-strikes';
"`Levels of Nocturnal Illumination';
"`Small Arms for Counterguerrilla Operations';
"`Tactical Nuclear Weapons--their Battlefield Utility';
"`Chemical Control of Vegetation in Relation to Military Needs';
"`Interdiction of Trucks from the Air at Night';
"`Night Vision for Counterinsurgents'

and so on. IDA tests and develops weapons specifically for the terrains of Vietnam, Thailand, North-east India, and Latin America (Hearings, House Comm. on Appropriations, Defense Approop. Hearings for 1965, vol 14, p. 138). It goes without saying that for those engaged in the liberation struggle throughout the world, this new emphasis on counter-insurgency will have deadly consequences.

"IDA is also engaged in developing techniques for suppressing ghetto rebellions and other domestic insurgencies. In a report to the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, IDA researchers recommended explosively spread adhesives, spray mists, droplet projectors, foam generators, `super water pistols,' and `tranquilizing darts, which have been used on wild animals' (NY Times, Nov. 12, 1967).

"IDA depends on its university affiliations to attract top talent (see Business Week, Feb. 25, 1967, "Battle for Brainpower"). Without the prestige and assistance Columbia and its eleven other affiliates give IDA, the organization would be desanctified in the eyes of the academic community it exploits: it would appear to be just what it is--an academic service-station for America's world-wide `company cops.' Columbia's disaffiliation would be a big blow to IDA's legitimacy and to the whole military-academic alliance.

"NOTE: Columbia's affiliation with the IDA is just one instance of the University's very intimate relation with the whole network of oppressive military and corporate institutions. William Burden, a Columbia trustee, is not only chairman of the board of IDA. He is also a director of Lockheed Aviation, Allied Chemical, CBS, American Metal, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, and a score of other foundations and philanthropies. President Kirk, an active member of the IDA executive committee, is also a director of Socony-Mobil, IBM, Consolidated Edison, Greenwich Savings Bank, and too many foundations to mention (including two CIA conduits--the Asia Foundation and the Institute for International Education). These facts alone should dispel any illusions about `value-free' universities. The university must take sides. The only question is--which side?"

Why IDA Must Go--Part 1

Before the 21st-century "era of permanent war and blogging" began, some anti-war student activists at Columbia University explained in a leaflet why they felt that Columbia University should fully sever its connections to the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA):

"In a series of articles in Nation (Oct. 9 & Dec. 18, 1967), historian Gabriel Kolko has analyzed the consequences of the alarming increase in Defense Department grants to major universities. This growing military-academic complex, Kolko argues, constitutes `a virtual revolution on U.S. military research structure. As the nature of modern warfare changes from confrontations between technological powers in a state of mutual terror and unstable balance to wars against guerrillas, the Pentagon's needs have shifted increasingly from military socio-economic "`soft-wares"' that Washington hopes will compensate for the ideological and human superiority of guerrilla movements. And since only the university possesses the necessary social scientists for such research, it may be fairly argued that the Pentagon will increasingly need the university far more than the academy will require Defense Department funds.' For all who recognize the American military to be the main source of violence and repression throughout the world, the lesson is clear: we must by whatever means necessary and to the limits of our power prevent the military from using what is becoming its main weapon--the university.

"In this connection, the campaign against the Institute for Defense Analyses is crucial. Already the Defense Department's `main weapons systems evaluation think tank' (Newsweek, Aug. 12, 1963), IDA is rapidly becoming its main agency for procuring top talent in the social and behavioral sciences. This new direction for IDA is most clearly reflected in the September, 1967 reorganization when the old Economic and Political Studies Division which is expected to vastly expand studies on the techniques of counterinsurgency (IDA Bulletin, July 26, 1967). The old EPSD was engaged in `third area conflict studies' including analyses of counter-insurgency in Thailand and studies of the motivation and morale of Vietcong military and civilian personnel (Hearings, House Comm. on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense, FY 1967, vol. 3, pp.607f.). In 1966, ESPD undertook three new projects: an analysis of national security objectives in the Indian Ocean Area; an evaluation of probably military developments in China through 1980; and an analysis of weapons and tactics in counterinsurgency warfare (IDA Annual Report, 1966). With this new reorganization, those who are already bearing the burden of the Pentagon's `soft-wares' can look forward to a good deal more of the same..."