Monday, December 31, 2018

NYU and Columbia University's IDA-Pentagon Connection--Conclusion

IDA’s 21st-Century Weapons Research Work

In the 21st-century, IDA has continued to develop new weapons technology and evaluate weapons systems for the Pentagon’s “permanent war machine.” According to IDA’s website during the first decade of the 21st-century, for example, IDA’s Joint Advanced Warfighting Program (JAWP) was serving “as a catalyst for developing breakthrough improvements in military capabilities,” “helping to conceptualize and develop new warfighting concepts and capabilities” and preparing “for implementations of the new warfighting concepts and capabilities.” In addition, on its web site IDA also revealed that after the Pentagon “lost about 100 helicopters from fall 2001 to spring 2005” in Afghanistan and Iraq, it “asked IDA to examine available data and records to identify why the helicopters were lost and to develop options for reducing future losses.”

IDA researchers found that “about one-third” of Pentagon helicopter losses in Afghanistan and Iraq “were due to engagements by enemy forces, which primarily used shoulder-fired missiles, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and small arms.” So IDA’s weapons research study then “identified several options” for the Pentagon “to improve rotorcraft survivability” in U.S. military-occupied Iraq, “including: enhancing the onboard countermeasures suite to counter shoulder-fired missiles; modifying tactics and procedures to minimize exposure to RPGs and small arms;” and “developing a lightweight sensor package integrated with software-based terrain avoidance to improve aircrew performance in degraded environments.”

The weapons research think-tank, on whose board of trustees NYU’s  New Center for Urban Science and Progress Director Steven Koonin currently sits, was also developing, in the early 21st-century the weapons technology that the U.S. war machine required to wage urban warfare in places like Baghdad, Iraq more effectively. As the IDA noted on its website during the first decade of the 21st century:

“U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) asked IDA to provide technical assistance as a follow-on to the Urban Resolve Phase I experiment conducted in 2004. This new work focused on improving current joint operations in an urban environment.

“Our researchers designed and conducted the 2005 experiment to identify and evaluate potential near-term improvements in command and control, sensors, and intelligence to support operations in Baghdad. In the process, IDA helped JFCOM develop an advanced synthetic experimentation environment to explore current issues in simulation.

“In addition, JFCOM initiated the Urban Resolve 2015 Experiment, which will build on the 2005 environment to identify more effective concepts for future stability operations than those currently available for Iraq and Afghanistan. IDA participated in a series of workshops that defined the kinds of information needed to attack insurgent networks, the most effective means for obtaining that information, and the details needed to incorporate these concepts into supporting models used to execute the event.

“We developed a concept involving tags and unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with advanced sensors that blends both human and technical means for detecting insurgent activities, tracking their vehicles and personnel, and locating their facilities. Tag and sensor models were developed to take advantage of the existing JFCOM simulation suite in order to bring the concepts to life in the Urban Resolve 2015 human-in-the-loop simulation. The goal is to refine and quantify the battlefield utility of these and other concepts, providing a guide for the DoD science and technology community that will lead to advanced concept technology demonstrations and transition to field operations.”

IDA’s website also described how IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center conducted weapons research studies for the Pentagon’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the area of irregular warfare planning and experimentation during the first decade of the 21st-century:

“Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have produced most of the recent battle casualties among U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq… In 2005, the Joint IED-Defeat Task Force asked IDA to review existing DoD organizations and processes established to defeat the IED threat and to identify opportunities for improvement.

“IDA formed a team of more than 30 researchers from six research divisions, including the military component of IDA’s Joint Advanced Warfighting Program (JAWP). The study’s main source of information was the IED-Defeat community itself – from soldiers and Marines in the field to home-based organizations supporting their efforts.

“The team formed task groups that focused on functional dimensions of the IED challenge. JAWP’s senior military officer led a team of military and civilian analysts in Iraq for five weeks that collected warfighters’ perspectives throughout the region, ranging from headquarters to combat patrols. A complementary effort in the United States visited training installations and gathered insights from recently returned veterans. Other teams addressed the following: the adequacy of IED training programs; the intelligence community’s support to the warfighter; the process for identifying, developing, and rapidly fielding new counter-IED technologies; the process for developing and disseminating new IED-defeat tactics; the process for tracking and analyzing operational performance in order to gauge progress and determine the effectiveness of tactics or technologies; and DoD’s capacity to integrate these elements into a coordinated and responsive program.

“In each area, teams made recommendations, which DoD is considering as it refines its approach to defeating the IED threat.”

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.”

IDA’s website also notes that the Defense Science Study Group [DSSG], “a program…that introduces… science and engineering professors to the United States’ security challenges and encourages them to apply their talents to these issues” was begun in 1986” and is directed by IDA. The IDA website’s description of IDA’s Defense Science Study Group program indicates how the program helps the Trump administration recruit current and future weapons development researchers for the U.S. permanent war machine: 

“IDA solicits nominations from senior leaders within major universities and from DSSG mentors, advisors, alumni, and current members. Because participation in the DSSG requires acquisition of a security clearance, all members must be U.S. citizens…. …

“Each group meets for two years for approximately 20 days per year, divided into two week-long sessions each summer and two three-day sessions each academic year. During these eight sessions, members focus on defense policy, related research and development, and the systems, missions, and operations of the armed forces and the intelligence community.

“The first session, held at IDA’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, provides members with an overview of the DSSG program. Prominent individuals from the defense and national security arenas, IDA researchers, DSSG mentors, and alumni introduce new members to the defense establishment, the current national security environment, and the role science and technology plays in that environment. Members also visit the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center, are briefed by such senior Pentagon officials as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and meet with national security professionals within the Executive Office of the President.

“The second session includes members’ first foray into `the field.' Members visit Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint Command facilities on the East Coast. Previous classes have met with senior military officers from the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet, Marine Forces Atlantic, and special operations teams. They have also toured aircraft carriers, AEGIS-equipped destroyers, and tactical submarines. In addition, this session has included visits to the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, and has ended with a tour of a Trident submarine base in Georgia.

“The third session focuses on Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force installations and defense industry facility tours on the West Coast and in the Midwest. Members again fly via military aircraft. Past trips have included visits to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman facilities; Fort Lewis; Edwards, Peterson, Offutt, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Bases; Fort Irwin National Training Center; Third Fleet, and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms.

“The fourth session includes visits to intelligence agencies in the Washington, DC, area…. During the fifth session, also held in the Washington, DC area, members discuss their initial ideas for research `think pieces’…In the sixth session, DSSG members tour national laboratories. In 2013, DSSG members visited the Air Force Research Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore, Sandia, and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

“In the seventh session, members take advantage of the resources available to them at IDA and visit defense and Government offices in the Washington DC area to advance their research. They also visit additional defense related laboratories such as the Naval Research Laboratory and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

“During the eighth and concluding session of the program, members present the results of their `think pieces.’…” 

Ending NYU’s Pentagon-IDA Connection In 2019

NYU's Center for Urban Science: IDA-Connected?
If you think it’s morally appropriate for science to be used to develop more effective urban warfare weapons technology for the Trump administration’s war machine, then you probably don’t think it’s morally wrong for the Director of NYU’s New Center for Urban Science and Progress to be also sitting on the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] board of trustees in 2019.

But if you think—like most antiwar Barnard College and Columbia University students did 50 years ago—that neither university administrators nor university professors in New York City should be helping to develop more deadly weapons for the U.S. permanent war machine, then you probably understand why it’s morally right for anti-war NYU students and faculty members to now demand that NYU New Center for Urban Science and Progress Steven Koonin resign from IDA’s board of trustees in 2019. 

(conclusion of August 2018 article that originally appeared on ZNet website)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

NYU and Columbia University's IDA-Pentagon Connection--Part 9

1990s IDA and Con Edison Trustee

IDA’s 1990s Weapons Research Work

In the early 1990s the current Director of NYU’s New Center for Urban Science and Progress, Steven Koonin, was not yet a member of the IDA board of trustees. But a member of the board of trustees of New York City’s Con Edison public utility company, a former Deputy Under-secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering at the Pentagon between 1979 and 1981 named Ruth Davis, however, was then also an IDA Trustee in 1991.

So in a 1991 telephone interview, the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative  newspaper, Downtown, asked IDA’s then Vice-President of Administration and Finance, Ruth Greenstein, to describe the kind of work IDA was doing for the Pentagon during the 1990s and Greenstein replied:

“We do a range of both policy analysis and basic research to sharpen Defense Department capabilities. We are involved in evaluating major weapons systems like the B-1 bomber and assessing new technologies and engaging in fundamental research.”

When Downtown asked her if any of IDA’s research proved relevant during the 1991 Gulf War, Greenstein noted that IDA also engaged in “quick response” military research for the Pentagon in the 1990s. 

(part 9 of August 2018 article that originally appeared on ZNet website)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

NYU and Columbia University's IDA-Pentagon Connection--Part 8

Former Columbia U. Trustee/IDA Board Chair William A.M.Burden
IDA’s 1969-1979 Weapons Research Work

A few months after the April-May 1968 anti-racist and antiwar Columbia and Barnard student rebellion, Columbia’s president no longer sat on IDA’s board of trustees or Executive Committee; and Columbia was no longer an institutional member of IDA. But Columbia Life Trustee William A.M. Burden continued to sit on the IDA board of trustees during the 1970s; and IDA continued to work with the Pentagon’s Weapons Systems Evaluation Group [WSEG] to produce classified weapons research reports with subject titles like the following:

1. “Air-to-Air Encounters in Southeast Asia” (Report 116 of February 1969);

2. “Progress Indicators for the Conflict in Southeast Asia” (Report 130 of May 1969);

3. “An Indicator System for the Conflict in Southeast Asia” (Report 143 of April 1969);

4. “Antisubmarine Warfare Weapons Systems Study (Report 168 of August 1971);

5. “Vector-0 Battle Model Prototype” (Report 222 of December 1973);

6. “Main Battle Tank Study” (Report 248 of October 1974);

7. “Vector-2 Theater Battle Model” (Report 251 of October 1974);

8. “Operational Test and Evaluation of Tactical Radar, Bombing Results” (Report 253 of November 1974);

9. “Proposed Methodology for Eliminating the Vulnerability of Tactical Aircraft to Non-Nuclear Threats” (Report 252 of January 1975);

10. “Near-Term Alternatives for the Main Battle Tank—A Comparative Evaluation of Vulnerability, Lethality, and Effectiveness in Small Unit Tank Engagements” (Report 285 of February 1976);

11. “Electronic Warfare Joint Test and Evaluation: Evaluation of the Relative Effectiveness of Electronic Warfare Mixes Used in the Electronic Warfare Joint Test” (Report 288 of March 1976); and

12. “Design Definition for a Joint Operation Test and Evaluation of Close Air Support During Electronic Warfare” (Report 296 of October 1976).

In addition, some U.S. university professors continued be involved in IDA’s continued weapons research development work for the Pentagon. As page 174 of The Superwarriors: The Fantastic World of Pentagon Superweapons by James Canan observed:

  “Student uprisings against the Vietnam War, the draft and all things military or quasi-military had strained and, in some cases, ruptured the ties of the think-tanks with the nation’s universities. They had depended on the universities for faculty guidance and participation, for facilities and for free-flowing intellectual exchange…One of the sufferers had been the Institute for Defense Analyses, the think-tank at the disposal of the Secretary of Defense himself, and of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, working hand in glove with the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency…There were signs in the mid-seventies, however, that it was making a bit of a comeback…Even though IDA had lost its official claim on the consortium of 12 universities which had founded and fed it in years long gone by, it still was drawing on their resident brains in an unofficial, informal—even sub rosa-fashion.”  

 (end of part 8 of article that was originally posted on ZNet website in August 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018

NYU and Columbia University's IDA-Pentagon Connection--Part 7

UC-Santa Barbara campus site of July-August 1966 IDA-Jason Profs' Weapons Research

IDA’s 1960-1968 Jason Division Weapons Research Work (continued)

After its June 1966 Wellesley, Massachusetts summer study, the IDA’s Jason Division held a follow-up weapons development research study session in Santa Barbara, California in July and August of 1966. During this “Jason Division West” summer study meeting in Santa Barbara, Columbia Professor Henry Foley was assigned Room 8229 and Columbia Professor and Director of Columbia’s Nevis Labs Leon Lederman was assigned Room 8323 of a college dormitory in which to live and work.

As The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner revealed, “they met off the Pacific coast, at the University of Santa Barbara, on the upper floor of a dormitory.” The Jasons also revealed that during the summer of 1966, “Val Fitch and Leon Lederman designed what they called pencil mines: little projectiles that looked like ballpoint pens…”

According to an Aug. 1, 1966 list of “Jason East Participants,” Columbia Professor Leon Lederman also attended the July-August “special project” follow-up session on the East Coast in 1966, as did Columbia Professor I.I. Rabi and Columbia Professor and IBM Watson Laboratory Director Richard Garwin. Nineteen scientists or executives from IDA (including twelve IDA Weapons Systems Evaluation Division staff members), twenty-nine U.S. professors from universities other than Columbia, two colonels from then-Secretary of Defense McNamara’s office, a scientist from Fort Monmouth and ten scientists from firms like GE, Bell Telephone Labs, IBM and Sylvania were also included on the Aug. 1, 1966 list of “Jason East Participants.” 

According to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner, by early August the Jason East group apparently had completed its report that designed “specific types of mines and bombs” and “suggested the aircraft appropriate for dropping, orbiting and striking” and some in the group again met at Dana Hall Girls School in Wellesley, Massachusetts on Aug. 15, 1966. Then, on Aug. 30, 1966, “Nierenberg, Deitchman, Kistiakowsky, Ruina, Jerome Wiesner and Jerrold Zacharias met with Robert McNamara and presented their report,” according to the same book. In their 1987 book Vietnam On Trial: Westmoreland vs. CBS, Bob Brewin and Sydney Shaw observed that “the IDA’s Jason division…proposed that vehicular traffic detected by the sensors should be attacked with SADEYE-BCU26B cluster bombs” in this report.

By 1968, the electronic battlefield technology that IDA’s Jason Division had developed was being used in South Vietnam in the Battle of Khe Sanh. And, on Sat. Feb. 3, 1968, Columbia Professor and Director of Columbia’s Watson IBM Labs Richard Garwin “traveled to Vietnam” with MIT Professor Henry Kendall and several other scientists “to check on the operation of the electronic barrier,” according to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner. The same book also observed:

“The sensors allowed such accurate detection of the enemy at night, in fog, behind hills, and in the jungle, that attacks on the enemy could be remote—that is, only artillery or air strikes—and would need no soldiers.

“…The electronic barrier turned into the electronic battlefield, the modern method for carrying out nonnuclear warfare, in particular on the urban battlefield…The relay to which the sensor talks is now a UAV, an unmanned aerial vehicle like the Predator or the Global Hawk, used in both Gulf wars and in Afghanistan…The responders are now bombs that are guided by lasers…”

Thousands of Indochinese civilians may have been killed as a direct result of the weapons technology development war research work that was done by IDA and its Jason Division during the period when Columbia was an institutional member of IDA. As the book The Air War In Indochina by Cornell University’s Air War Study Group revealed in 1972:

“The figures show that during the intense phase of the North Vietnam bombing, 100,000 to 200,000 tons of munitions per year were dropped. This bombing inflicted 25,000 to 50,000 casualties per year, 80 percent of whom were civilians…Indochina…has…become the laboratory for the evolution of the electronic battlefield…For the period from 1965 to April 1971, the estimate of civilian casualties in South Vietnam is 1,050,000 including 325,000 deaths…

“…Special electronic techniques for improving nighttime interdiction has been under development by the U.S. Air Force through a project named IGLOO WHITE. Initial operation of some of the components began in December 1967, and since that time a whole family of electronic devices has come into being…Sensors are implanted on the ground or suspended in the foliage by air drop…Aircraft overhead receive electronic messages from them and relay the information to a central computer control station. Strike aircraft are then directed to the designated area…American scientists and engineers—civilians as well as those working for the Department of Defense—have been deeply involved in the development of the electronic battlefield.”

Igloo White weapons developed by IDA Jason Members/University Profs in 1960s
Neither the Columbia University Administration nor the Pentagon has ever released much information on the number of Indochinese civilians who were killed or wounded as a direct result of the IDA and Jason Division weapons research work that Columbia University institutionally-sponsored in the 1960s. But at least 250,000 Indochinese civilians apparently lived near the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” area that the electronic battlefield initially targeted in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (end of part 7)

(part 7 of August 2018 article originally posted on ZNet website)