Wednesday, May 23, 2007

MIT's War Research In 2007

Besides being represented on the Pentagon’s Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] weapons research think-tank board of trustees by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] professors, MIT also continues to do war research for the U.S. war machine in 2007. As Bryan Bender noted in a February 27, 2006 article on the Boston Globe’s site, which was headlined “Pentagon to invest $3 million in MIT bomb research,” the Pentagon is “staking a $3 million investment on a small team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students to help the military.”

The MIT war research project is being led by MIT chemistry professor Keith A. Nelson and funded by the Pentagon’s Office of Naval Research. The goal of MIT Professor Nelson’s research project is “to pinpoint how the so-called improvised explosive devices—known as IEDs—work and find techniques to detonate or short-circuit them” by “studying the molecular composition of explosive materials,” according to the Boston Globe article.

In his February 27, 2006 article, Bryan Bender also reported that the Pentagon “believes the highly controlled experiments underway at MIT and two research partners—Washington State University and Michigan Tech—have significant promise to bear results” and that “the funding is part of a military program, called the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative.” IEDs, according to the Globe, “pose one of the most nettlesome problems” for the Pentagon troops that have still not been withdrawn from occupied Iraq by the U.S. Establishment’s Bush Administration.

Since the Bush Administration began its military occupation of Iraq in 2003, the value of MIT’s Pentagon war research contracts has jumped from $300 million to over $500 million.

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