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FYI Number 86: July 5, 2001

Administration Recommends Cut in FY 2002 Defense S&T Funding

The much anticipated and much delayed FY 2002 Department of Defense budget request has been sent to Congress. The overall requests for basic research, applied research, and advanced technology development (6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 respectively) would all decline if Congress agrees with President Bush's request.

The Defense Department has just released an eighty-page document called the R-1 that details the RDT&E program requests. S&T budget requests within the three services and defense-wide vary.

At last week's Defense Department briefing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld identified science and technology spending as an area "we need clearly to invest appropriately in." However, Rumsfeld wants FY 2002 funding increases focused on personnel needs, saying "You can't ask people to live and work in the kinds of facilities we have in too many places."

Insight into what Secretary Rumsfeld had in mind when he discussed an appropriate level of S&T funding was provided by Defense Comptroller Dov Zakheim in his section of the briefing. He said that a year ago, 2.5% of the defense budget was allocated to S&T. For FY 2002, this figure would increase to 2.7%. "Our goal is 3 percent," Zakheim said. This goal roughly agrees with the 1998 "Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Defense Science and Technology Base for the 21st Century" that stated, "the most successful industries invest about 15% of sales in research and development with about 3.5% of sales invested in research (equivalent to the DoD S&T program)."

The R-1 contains hundreds of numbers, and can be viewed here. The following figures present an overall view of the 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 requests for the Defense Department as a whole, Army, Navy, and Air Force and Defense-Wide. An important note: "Defense-Wide" is NOT total spending. Rather, it refers to funding for DARPA, other defense labs, and missile defense. Also note that DOD contends that a new request should not be compared to the previous year's budget but instead to the request. However, the R-1 does not make this comparison, nor do other budgets such as those for DOE, NSF, or NASA. All of the comparisons below are between the FY 2001 appropriation and the FY 2002 request, using the R-1 numbers.

Comparison of FY 2001 and FY 2002 funding
AGGREGATE 6.1 (basic research) down 1.0%
AGGREGATE 6.2 (applied research) down 1.5%
AGGREGATE 6.3 (advanced technology development) down 4.6%
TOTAL AGGREGATE down 2.4%
($8.99 billion to $8.78 billion)
ARMY 6.1 up 5.7%
ARMY 6.2 down 16.7%
ARMY 6.3 down 18.2%
TOTAL AGGREGATE ARMY down 14.8%
($1.85 billion to $1.58 billion)

NAVY 6.1

up 3.1%
NAVY 6.2 down 4.9%
NAVY 6.3 down 13.5%
TOTAL AGGREGATE NAVY down 6.9%
($1.84 billion to $1.71 billion)

AIR FORCE 6.1

up 3.8%
AIR FORCE 6.2 up 6.0%
AIR FORCE 6.3 down 20.8%
TOTAL AGGREGATE AIR FORCE down 5.1%
($1.46 billion to $1.38 billion)

DEFENSE-WIDE 6.1

down 9.1%
DEFENSE-WIDE 6.2 up 7.4%
DEFENSE WIDE 6.3 up 9.7%
TOTAL AGGREGATE DEFENSE-WIDE up 6.3%
($3.84 billion to $4.09 billion)

Richard M. Jones
Public Information Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
(301) 209-3095


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