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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MILITARY POLICY*

by Harvey M. Sapolsky INTRODUCTION Today, as has been the case for more than three decades, the search for new and more fearsome weapons holds the first priority for the world's scientists and engineers. By the same token, research on military R&D policy must have a high place in science policy studies. No other activity absorbs a greater share of the total investment in research than does the effort to advance the science and technology of warfare. A plausible, if not precise, estimate is that military research and development accounts for about one third of the world's research and development expenditures. Perhaps as many as one million scientists and engineers are currently at work on military projects. In policy studies much work has been engendered by analysis for the military establishments on the one side and by peace research and citizens' advocates on the other. The prime cause of this preoccupation with weapons is obvious. The world's superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, have been since World II in a continuous competition for military supremacy that has been manifested mainly in the development of technologically sophisticated weapons. As the leading nations in terms of scientific and technological capabilities, their research priorities, heavily skewed toward the instruments of war, greatly influence world R&D statistics. Nations seeking major-power standing in the world have to pursue technological objectives selected by the two superpowers. Either through research or purchase they must match American and Russian ballistic missiles, fighter bombers, attack submarines, and main battle tanks, or be subject to them. Even when nations lack such ambitions, they apparently cannot afford to ignore the technological priorities of the superpowers, especially those of the United States, because of the commercial and organizational by-products that are but it does entail an ability to produce supersonic aircraft, large computers, nuclear reactors, deep ocean drilling equipment and the like which in minds of many are the technological harbingers of future prosperity. ___________________ *REPRINTED FROM: Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Science, Technology, and Military Policy", in Ina Spiegel-Roesing and Derek de Solla Price (eds.) Science, Technology and Society: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective, (SGE Publications: London, 1977) Chapter 12, pp. 443-471. Nevertheless, only a few nations are seriously involved in the effort to develop technologically advanced weapons, and their lot is not an enviable one.
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Great technological and political uncertainties beset weapon projects. The difficulty in predicting the actions of one's potential adversaries and the direction of technologies is a substantial barrier to success in the development of weapons. Attempts to improve the internal efficiency of the enterprise have been continually frustrated by these uncertainties. Ironically, additional investments in military R&D do not always increase national security, and may at times decrease it. Advances in weapon technology, by enhancing the real or apparent military might of one adversary over another, can produce further uncertainty about intentions and increased opportunities for miscalculations. Because of the continuing threat of weapon improvements, the balance of terror may be much more precarious than it need be. Of increasing interest to many are schemes to curtail or perhaps even eliminate military-related research. In the West, at least, there is, according to opinion surveys, a growing weariness with the burdens of maintaining a large military establishment. There is a gradual erosion of military expenditures relative to non-military expenditures associated with shifting budget priorities of government. Beyond this, however, the obstacles to substantial reductions are significant. International tensions persist, and with them the risks of failing behind in the development of weapons. Among those who are ready to articulate these risks are scientists and engineers who have become dependent upon military justifications for their research support. We must, therefore, review the magnitude, directions and priorities of the undertaking, the technical substance and consequences of the weaponry with all that these imply for policy direction and control. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND WAR Governments have long acted as patrons of science in the hope of gaining improvements in the instruments and techniques of war; what is new in our time is the scale of the patronage offered and the impact which science has had on warfare. Until recently, the technology of weapons changed only gradually, often with centuries passing between major shifts. And more frequently than not it was the artisan or the inventor instead of the scientist or the military engineer who first perceived the opportunities for change. Science has come to the forefront in warfare only as the instruments and techniques of war have been linked together in a systematic fashion. Thus World War I, despite the introduction of such innovations as aircraft and tanks and the use of poison gas and submarines, remained essentially a clash of massed armies because this linkage was not made. Scientists and engineers, though mobilized for the conflict, contributed little to its outcome. The glacial pace of weapon innovations has led commentators to characterize military bureaucracies as being highly resistant to technological change. Until recently, at least, this seemed to be an accurate description. The
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horse, for example, appeared in military maneuvers and manuals as late as the 1940's despite the fact that decades earlier the machine gun had eliminated it from combat and the internal combustion engine had eliminated it from support missions. Today, however, the military, perhaps to a greater extent is a continuous need to promote and to adjust to technological change. World War II marked the crucial turning point in the relationship between science and war, as indeed it did in the evolution of science policy. It is not just that at this moment in history war suddenly became scientific. On the contrary, as... Vietnam reminded us, war continues to be an unpredictable political undertaking. Rather, it is that during World War II weapons and their use in military operations came to be analyzed scientifically for the first time. Scientists and engineers not only worked on the development of weapons, but also advised on the tactical deployment of weapons. The practical experience which weapon researchers gained from an exposure to operational issues increased both the pace of weapon innovation and the operational effectiveness of the equipment that was developed. The atomic bomb, of course, has been the weapon development most identified with World War II. In terms of providing a symbol of the destructive capability generated by military research it was clearly unmatched. But in terms of influencing the actual course of the fighting, dozens of other developments such as radar, sonar, the submarine snorkel, the proximity fuse, and, as we have recently learned, advances in cryptography probably were of equal or greater importance in that conflict. Taken together, these weapon developments convinced political, military and scientific leaders of the value of a continuing effort to spur weapon research. The organizational arrangements that were established there to promote military research development activities during the war were not fully dismantled at its conclusion; instead they were retained and expanded. The victors competitively sought as war booty the weapon research resources of Germany, including its leading military scientists and engineers. Their own growing antagonism set the stage for the technological competition that largely continues today unabated, detente and arms limitation treaties notwithstanding. Previously confined to the periphery of power, scientists and engineers came in the years immediately following World War II to enter the highest councils of government in both the East and the West. Their advice was sought on weapon procurements and on the resources being allocated to R&D activities, the scale of which grew rapidly during this period. Whether the actual scope of the influence of scientists and engineers, now obviously diminished, ever extended to the pivotal policy decisions of government is a subject of debate. For some they, and especially the scientists among them, constituted a self-conscious elite that displaced other contenders for influence, contenders who were less conversant with the technical issues facing government. For others, their influence was always illusionary as it was dependent upon the acceptance of narrow decisional premises which were then and still are being determined by the dominant political forces. In this view they were and remain... social scientists in American industry, the servants of power. The truth, however, most likely lies somewhere in between these two characterizations, with the influence of scientists and engineers on government policy, initially quite large in the immediate post war years, diminishing as the
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traditional political elites grew more confident in their own abilities to deal with the technical issues brought about by the revolution in military technology, and as they became less tolerant of the claims of scientists and engineers for political and bureaucratic autonomy in government. But no matter what view prevails in the debate, it is clear that scientists and engineers, by their involvement in post war weapon research and policy making, obtained a political visibility for themselves and an affluence and status for science that stands unmatched in history. MILITARY R & D AS A NATIONAL PRIORITY Though the genesis of the issue is clear, at least in bold outline, it is, not surprisingly, impossible to gain a precise assessment of the present position of the various nations in regard to that share of the world's scientific resources they devote to military R&D activities. Some nations, among them the Soviet Union, find it in their interest to report essentially nothing about the level or composition of the military research work they undertake; military research figures for these nations must necessarily be estimates constructed from information reported for other purposes. Even when data on this topic are available, however, it is difficult to be certain of their comparability due to the inevitable national variations in accounting procedures and definitions. Accounting, never included among the exact sciences, always has its political purposes. The United States government, for example, broadened its definition of military research to include equipment, test and evaluation expenses at the time of the launching of the first Sputnik in order to increase quickly the size of the military research budget, and thus allay domestic political concerns about the adequacy of its weapon research effort. In addition, there is the problem of knowing what to include as militarily relevant research. Nations do not conveniently place all of what they intend to be weapon-related research in a single ministry labeled defense. Much of the research effort conducted or supported by nuclear development, space, and even academic science agencies can be of military value. In the United States it is known that about half the research of the organization that was until recently titled the Atomic Energy Commission is work related to nuclear munitions or reactors for naval vessels. But how much of the Indian, Israeli or South African nuclear research efforts is weapon-related is less certain. Finally, there is the problem of selecting appropriate currency conversion rates for cross-national comparisons of military research and development expenditures. There are, alas, similar problems which attend comparability for estimates of R&D manpower and for equivalence rates between one weapon system and another. Given the variability that exists among nations in capital investments and levels of scientific training and efficiency of research personnel employed on military projects, it is difficult to establish conversion rates that are persuasive. Do you equalize the value of a dollar spent on military research in Sunnyvale, California, or in Lexington, Massachusetts, with the value of a ruble spent on military research in Kuybyshev or Novosibirsk by recording its productivity as being 2.0, 1.0, 0.5 or 0.25 that of the ruble? Though many have been attracted
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by the conversion problem, the differences in their choice of rates and the ease with which such choices can be used for political purposes do not generate much confidence in the accuracy of the resulting comparisons. Nevertheless, one is not at a complete loss when one is seeking to assess the role which military research plays as a national priority. The United States and the Soviet Union, by their own admissions, outspend every other nation in the world in the search for new and improved weapons, though each disputes their relative ranking and neither is willing to claim the lead. In terms of the size of their military research programs, they are only each other's rival (See Table 1), and if all the billions invested in space research by the United States and the Soviet Union were considered military research, as many observers believe should be the case, the dominance of the two rivals would only be more dramatic. Military R&D activities are highly concentrated, greatly exceeding the concentration of R&D activities in general. The complexity and cost of modern weapons have caused most nations to import a substantial portion of their armaments. Only a few nations attempt to maintain a comprehensive weapon development program that includes a full range of conventional and strategic systems. It is said, for example, that there are but six or seven nations - the United States, the Soviet Union, China, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and perhaps Israel - currently capable of independently developing combat-competitive fighter aircraft and even some of them are not likely to continue to maintain such a capability. Similar small numbers are involved in the development of nuclear powered submarines, long range missiles, tanks of advanced design and helicopter gun platforms. Yet, the urge to have large production runs and thus reduce the cost of one's own weapon development and procurement activities, as well as the political advantages of acting as a supplier nation, keeps the flow of technologically advanced weapons open to nations that do not set aside a significant share of their defense expenditures for military research. There appears to be no shortage of modern weapons even in a world where only a relatively few nations are involved in their design and development. The vast bulk of military R&D funds is spent on the development of weapon systems and on their test and evaluation (or as it is called in the Soviet Union, their assimilation into production). In the United States, for example, approximately eighty percent of the Department of Defense's R&D obligations in 1975 were for weapon development activities including test and evaluation. Work directed toward the development of new missiles and aircraft accounted for well over half of this effort. The military's support of basic research activities, though less than three percent of the total Department of Defense R&D obligations and less than ten percent of the total United States investment in basic research that year, still amounted to several hundred million dollars. In this category, work is concentrated in the engineering disciplines and the physical sciences, but involves, if only in small ways nearly every field of investigation.

Table 1. Military R&D: Average Annual Expenditures,


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1967-1970 (in Millions of U.S. Dollars) United States Soviet Union United Kingdom France FR Germany Sweden Canada India Japan Netherlands $8,708.9 5,692.8-8,250.0 859.6 770.8 352.3 106.4 89.0 62.0 52.8 17.1

As Chart 1 describes, many Western and non-aligned nations have recently reduced the military proportion of their total R&D activities. The trend of Soviet military R&D expenditures, the subject of much speculation, is less clear as is the future direction of the United States effort. The pressure of domestic concerns such as the protection of environmental quality, the desire for a broadening of social welfare, and the quest for improvements in health status apparently have led to a shift in relative research priorities in many nations. Nevertheless, as the absolute level of spending for weapon research has not been reduced, military R&D remains a source of national and international concern. THE NATURE OF MODERN WEAPONS National military policies depend not only on the national will and or international forces, but also on the changing nature of the available military technologies. The atomic bomb used against Hiroshima can be said to have been both the first modern weapon and the last of the old. The bomb was new in the sense that it demonstrated in a single, horrible moment the devastating and destructive power of sophisticated technology. The bomb was less than modern, however, in the sense that ancillary equipment upon which its effectiveness depended was developed independently. The physical size of the bomb, for instance, was determined by the dimensions of the bomb bay doors of the B-29, an aircraft that had been designed years before without any consideration for its eventual nuclear delivery mission. A first major change since World War II is that weapons have been increasingly developed as integrated systems. That is, it has been recognized that if weapon designs are to be optimal in terms of their military purpose, the definition of a weapon and its development has to include the weapon's delivery mechanism, its logistic support, its crew training facilities and its deployment tactics. Thus, the development of the Fleet Ballistic Missile System by the United States Navy included not just the development of the Polaris weapon system, (i.e. the missile subsystem, the navigation subsystem, the fire control subsystem, and the missile launcher subsystem), but also the development of the nuclear submarines, the logistic support ships, the forward bases, the repair facilities, the training schools,
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the communications stations and the research laboratories that are needed to keep the missiles at sea and ready to fire. A second characteristic of modern weapons is that they are designed to meet a variety of potential and real threats. For example, the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) was initially conceived as a lightly armored troop transported which would provide tanks with an infantry screen in order to protect the tanks from enemy infantry infiltration and attack. However, because the APC was expected to operate in the same battlefield environment as the tank, it soon acquired a large caliber gun to protect itself from enemy tanks, an antiaircraft gun, extra armor, protective equipment for nuclear and chemical warfare, and elaborate target acquisition and communications equipment. It now looks much like a tank and is thought to be vulnerable to infantry infiltration and attack. A third characteristic of modern weapons is that they are designed to operate in or to have effects upon environments not previously thought to be part of warfare. Nuclear submarines patrol under the polar icecap. Submarine detection devices are implanted in the ocean's floor. Satellites provide global surveillance, navigation and communications capabilities. Chemical herbicides have been used to destroy the vegetation of large tracts of land, and weather modification techniques, such as those that would increase rainfall in designated areas, have been tested. These design characteristics often result in the development of costly and complex weapons. Compared with the situation during World War II, relatively few weapons are produced, but their rate of obsolescence is higher. It is not rust or combat as much as the imaginations of the weapons designers that converts modern weapons into scrap. Development costs for modern weapons can approach

Chart 1. Long Term Trends in the Promotion of National R & D Funds Devoted to Military R & D, 1955-1970

production costs, and their combined operations and maintenance costs often exceed their combined development and production costs. The weapons acquisition process, as a consequence, is pervaded by two kinds of uncertainty. One is technological uncertainty is exemplified by the question: Can a specific item be developed in a specified time for a specified price? In a complex weapon system, the failure to develop one item can cause the entire system to be essentially worthless. If the guidance mechanism of a ballistic missile does not work, it matters little how excellent are its rocket motors or crew training facilities. Political uncertainty is exemplified by the question: Will the item proposed be considered valuable when it is finally developed? Perceived threats and national strategies can change rapidly. The CrA's potential ability to ferry several hundred combat-equipped troops to distant trouble spots, for example, was admired by policy makers in the United States a lot more in 1965 when the aircraft was designed than it was in 1971 when the aircraft was ready for deployment. Weapons projects take years to complete and, with rate exception, are buffered by both kinds of uncertainty throughout their history. Competing for scarce resources, proponents of particular weapon systems, including scientists and engineers who are often the initiators of new weapon projects, tend to exaggerate the military benefits that are likely to accrue from the developments they propose and to depreciate the technological and political risks
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that are likely to be involved in such developments. The outcomes, however, frequently do not match the initial promises; vast sums may be expended for what are at best only marginal or questionable security gains. Studies of United States weapon developments, for example, show a persistent pattern of cost overruns, schedule slippages, and performance defects despite a declining index of technological advancement for at least certain types of weapons and much effort at managerial improvements. The experience of other nations, Eastern and Western, though less accessible, appears to be similar. Some commentators on military research appear susceptible to classification as technological determinists, a common assumption among them being that what is feasible in weapon technology will be produced. The willingness of governments to pursue the slightest technological opportunity in weapons and the range of weapon technologies currently at their command lends support to this assumption. Nevertheless, weapon developments are not infrequently terminated and not only because their technological infeasibility has been convincingly demonstrated. Considerations of costs relative to expected military benefits and of the availability of alternative weapons are necessarily also components of termination decisions; or else such aborted but surely feasible systems as the XB-70 manned bomber, or the SNARK cruise missile would have been completed. The number and cost of weapon developments cancelled for some reason or other are staggering and give another indication of the scale at which scientific and technological resources are being absorbed by the military research effort. The United States alone during the 1960's terminated thirty seven major systems, writing off investments of over $6.7 billion. It is important to note, however, that it is specific projects rather than entire programs that are more likely to be cancelled. Thus, despite the demise of the XB-70 and despite the demise of the SNARK, the quest for advanced manned bombers and long range cruise missiles continues. Apparently governments, or at least those subdivisions of governments charged with the task of developing weapons, are unwilling or unable to forego the exploration of weapon technologies even in the face of obvious failure, disappointment or political defeat stemming from competition with other national priorities and advocacies. New weapons, it would seem, are less the product of technological forces than they are of institutional and socio-political factors. THE ORGANIZATION OF MILITARY R & D EFFORTS Nations utilize a variety of structural arrangements to develop weapons. In the United States, though there are government-managed weapon laboratories and arsenals, the private sector is a significant participant in the weapon acquisition process. Universities are actively involved in the conduct of military research. Nonprofit corporations advise on design and management questions. And business firms perform research, development, test, evaluation and management functions as well as manufacture weapons. In the development of major weapons the coordination of the disparate organizational elements is a problem; it is not uncommon in these projects for a single firms to be designated by the government
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as the manager for an entire weapon system and to held responsibility for direction of a large network of subcontractors in the development and production of the weapon system. Coordination is sought by means of contracts and financial incentives. In Europe the private sector's participation in the weapon acquisition process, though substantial, is somewhat less than is the practice in the United States. This is so in part because European governments rely more upon their own facilities for the management of weapon projects and in part because a number of the major armament firms have been nationalized their armament industries through merger and nationalization and to establish a multinational consortium. In the Soviet Union interorganizational coordination is said to be a continuing problem in the management of the economy. the performance of armaments industries in this respect, however, is thought to be substantially better than is the case in the consumer-oriented industries, supposedly because of the high priorities placed on their work. Unique features of the Soviet weapon acquisition process include the use of the Soviet Academy of Sciences for the management of a number of military research facilities, the maintenance of competitive design bureaus, and the practice of extensive prototyping. The high cost and frequent failure of weapon projects has led a continuous search for efficiency improvements in the weapon acquisition process and much debate. In the United States, for instance, there has been a succession of policy reforms including the use of incentive contracts, the adoption of the planning, programming and budgeting system, and increased centralization of decisionmaking authority, each one of which was heralded as a panacea and then severely questioned. Recently, while French and Russian commentators have been admiring the flexibilities of the American development system. American attention has focused on the experience of Avions Marcel Dassault-Brequet and the Soviet Ministry of Aviation and their use of an incremental acquisition strategy. Given the uncertainties inherent in the development of advanced weapon technologies, it would seem, however, there is no certain way to avoid expense and error when developing weapons. Only rarely, as in the case of ballistic missiles, when a technological opportunity and a consensus on weapon strategies converge will the development process seem efficient. Another aspect of the weapon acquisition process that has been the subject of an extended discussion is the relationship of basic research to the development of weapon technologies. The science policy assumption held by governments for much of the period since World War II has been that substantial investments in basic or undirected research are required in order to provide the scientific base for rapid technological progress in fields of interests, including weapons. With the urging of scientists, the military took the lead in supporting basic research on a scale previously not contemplated by government. By the mid 1960's, however, first the military departments and then other agencies of government had begun to question the value of their investments in basic research. Budgetary pressures in the West, at least, forced an examination of
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the division between support for development projects, work with goals specifically related to agency missions, including in the case of the military, work on the direct advancement of weapon technologies, and support for basic research, work of a more theoretical and long term nature not always clearly linked to agency missions. The United States Department of Defense's Project Hindsight, for example, sought to identify the sources of weapon system improvements by describing the purpose and institutional location of work done up to twenty years earlier that was embodied in a sample of currently deployed weapon systems. The finding that basic research activities in the postwar years contributed little to operational weapon systems, having as it did the perhaps unintended implication that basic research work should be supported, led to the study being challenged on both methodological and policy grounds. A counterstudy, TRACES, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, an agency specifically charged with the support of academic research, found that important and common technologies had their root in scientific work of the most basic and undirected type, done in some cases centuries earlier; it concluded that such research was indeed useful and worthy of support. While subsequent discussion failed to resolve conclusively the methodological issues involved in identifying the social and economic utility of research investments, policy did change. Government agencies, and the military in particular, began to reduce their support for undirected research, buttressed by the sentiment that government sponsorship of research should in large measure - if not exclusively - be confined to work that has an obvious link to current operational needs. This sentiment found expression in the United States in the so-called Mansfield Amendment and in Britain in the Rothschild Report. Where once the military was the prime sponsor for basic research, this is no longer the case in the United States and in at least certain other nations as well. For many, however, the only truly important issue which relates to the organization of the weapon acquisition process is the pressure that existing institutional arrangements generate for the perpetuation of the competition in arms, ... whether or not there exists a "follow-up imperative". The concern here is with the potential political influence of armament employment and with the probable preferences of organizations involved in the development of weapons, both industrial contractors and the military, for their own institutional maintenance. It is pointed out that in the arms-producing nations the armament industries provide employment that is often geographically concentrated and politically important. The participation of profit-making organizations in the weapons acquisition process adds an obvious financial incentive for the continuous development of new weapons. In the United States a voluminous literature that is highly suspicious of this institutional pattern, or "Military Industrial Complex" as it is referred to by its critics, has recently appeared. The suspicions expressed, though contemporary and American, are not entirely without historical antecedents, and they have at least partial applicability to other nations, especially the Soviet Union. Given their predilection for conspiratorial theories of politics, critics of the Military Industrial Complex have not stimulated much serious scholarship. Little empirical testing of their concepts has been done and that which has is at best inconclusive. Lieberson (1971), for example, examined the dependency of large American corporations on military expenditures in order to test elitist versus
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pluralistic descriptions of the economy, he found not surprisingly, that the impact of such expenditures was highly differentiated, with a few industries and corporations being much more dependent than most. Lieberson argues that rather than depict military-industry linkages as collusive and dominating, he would prefer to describe them as one important economic interest among many; this view is much more akin to pluralist perceptions of American society than he seems willing to admit. Attempts to explore the profitability of the armaments industries have been able to demonstrate every conceivable relationship, depending upon the accounting technique they used. The most thorough analysis, that of the United States General Accounting Office (1971), which considered in its calculations the large capital investments made by the military in the plant and equipment of these industries, found that, though there were variations, the overall level of profits for armaments was close to the average experience of American industry as a whole... Russett's analysis of Congressional roll calls (1970) failed to find the expected direct relationship between military spending in Congressional districts and voting on defense-related issues (See also Cobb, 1973). The problem may well be that roll call analysis is too blunt an instrument to capture adequately the Congressional subtleties involved in furthering the interests of constituents. It might be more revealing, for instance, to explore as Leiberson (1971) and Niskanen (1971) have partially done the overrepresentation of Congressmen from affected districts on committees dealing with special interests, whether defense or not, and the biases that this overrepresentation generates in legislative and spending decisions in Congress. As to Kurth's theory of the follow-on imperative in the award of United States weapon contracts, there are apparently too many definitional ambiguities for a sufficient test to be made. Others, less self-consciously antagonistic toward government than are the Military Industrial Complex critics, have also taken an institutional approach to the analysis of the weapon acquisition process. Mostly political scientists, they have tended to concentrate on identifying the factors affecting the introduction of major innovations in weapons and have relied heavily upon case histories of weapon projects for their data. Their work, which has yet to be fully aggregated and summarized, stresses the dominant role of the military services in determining the rate and direction of weapon innovations. Weapon innovations, in this view, gestate over many years and are often championed by bureaucratic entrepreneurs who rise up from the ranks of weapon designers or the officer corps. As the projects approach the advanced development stage, they are absorbed more fully into the politics of the sponsoring service and their fate is influenced strongly by the service's internal resolution of goals and its bargaining position at the highest levels of government. The official descriptions of the weapon acquisition process, of course, are devoid of any recognition of institutional influences, either macro-sociological or micro-bureaucratic. Instead, the process is portrayed as a quasi-scientific undertaking involving the weighing at fixed points in a weapon system's development of such factors as the technological opportunities, expected costs, projected enemy capabilities, and strategic doctrine. If only in the aspiration of
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certain of its participants, it is a process potentially governable by cost/effectiveness studies. A complete understanding of the weapon acquisition process, it would seem, will require an amalgamation of the various perspective. An activity as large and long-sustained as the acquiring of new weapons is bound to have developed its own institutional dynamics. But such an activity also would not be continually with us if it systematically ignored technical and strategic realities. The contribution which the weapon research effort makes to the national security and strategy - whose enhancement is, increasingly being questioned. For some the fear is that the competition in arms, because of the interaction that occurs between weapon development decisions of the competitors, is slipping into a destabilizing arms race. The uncertainty about intentions and capabilities, it is said, leads to a cycle of apparently prudent steps that leaves everyone worse off than they were before the cycle began. For others the fear is that the weapon acquisitions process has become so oriented to serving its own internal needs that it weakens security by generating weapons which are too costly to produce in quantities sufficient for an adequate defense. Until the process which guides the acquisition of weapons is better investigated, we will have difficulty in discerning whether either or both of these fears is justified. Without further evidence we will certainly not know what policy instruments can be used to avoid the dangers to security which are feared. THE EFFECT ON THE MILITARY: SCIENCE AND WARFARE The link between science and war, first forged during World War II and since strengthened, has had effects that go beyond the design and procurement of new weapons. Obviously the military's role in society has been altered, as have been the organization of science and the conduct of war. Each of these topics deserves a lengthy analysis; all that can be done here is to highlight the major themes. The effect on the military of the revolution in weapon technologies, as... students of military organization point out, has been to reduce its societal autonomy. Now permanently mobilized because of the reach of nuclear missiles, the peacetime military must seek more resources from society for its maintenance than it once did. Due to the complexity of weapons and the management problems they create, the skill differential between military and civilian occupations, once great, narrows considerably. New social groups, less willing to be subject to military discipline, and at times, as in the case of the American involvement in Vietnam, even hostile to military policy, must be recruited and/or involved in order for the military to function. The military's task is redefined to include a war-prevention as well as a war-fighting responsibility, but because the society as a whole is as vulnerable to destruction as are military forces, civilian authorities are more prone to intervene in the direction of military on society creates tensions within the military that have yet to be fully resolved.
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Science too is now permanently mobilized but not exclusively for war. Weapon projects gave science its first experience with very large-scale undertakings. The successes that were achieved, indeed impressive, led scientists and politicians to believe that the organization l model used to solve defense problems, the large, centrally directed national program, would be effective in solving other public problems. Some scientists, at least, wanted alternatives to the military rationale for the support of science. And most politicians were ready to accept the claim that answers existed for the crises of the day. As a result, work toward such objectives as economic development, urban progress, the defeat of cancer, energy independence and technological independence have become part of the justification for the support of science by government. The permanent mobilization of science, however, is not without its problems. While science has always made utilitarian claims to gain support, the visibility and specificity of its current applied objectives make science unusually vulnerable to failures of achievement. In addition, not all of science can be accommodated within the framework of national programs. Some disciplines, quite valuable to the progress of science itself, are certain under these arrangements to be beyond the margin of support. Finally, there is the issue of the legitimacy of the objectives selected. Now public, the goals of science can be - some say must be - contested politically both within and outside science. The overall effect on warfare of the military research effort has been to increase the destructive capabilities of the forces employed. To be sure, not all of military research is directed toward that end; work goes on in repairing battle wounds, in making rations more tasty, and in preventing machinery from rusting. Some advances such as that which eliminates noise in the equipment of missilecarrying submarines can even help reduce the danger of war by making the submarines less vulnerable to detection and destruction. Nevertheless, the thrust of this effort, and the most used measure of progress in military research, is efficiency in target destruction. The reason why this is the case... lies in the pressure existing in the technology-producing nations. Advanced industrial nations have... a diminishing ability to field mass armies. If judged by the incentives necessary for recruitment, military service, especially in the combat arms, has progressively less attraction to their citizens. The tolerance of these nations for suffering casualties is also declining. In World War I fifty thousand deaths in a single battle was for all parties an expected, if undesired, consequence of war. In Vietnam a rate of two hundred combat deaths per week was considered politically unacceptable for American forces. Technology, in this situation, becomes a necessary substitute for manpower. An important object of research is to automate combat tasks, that is, to field weapons which reduce the exposure to casualty of one's own forces while inflicting as much destruction as possible on the forces of the other side. From this perspective nuclear weapons are ideal, as they have extremely low manning ratios to potential casualties inflicted. The same pressures operate in the design of conventional weapons as well. Witness the work on precision guided munitions and
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laser targeting devices. The technologically more sophisticated side always is thought to have the advantage is always fleeting if one has as an opponent another industrialized nation. Perhaps when conventional weapons approach the efficiency of strategic weapons, the total stalemate will be upon us. In the meantime the destructiveness of war is certain to grow. ARMS CONTROL Individually and collectively, scientists and engineers have been among the strongest advocates for the control of arms. At the end of World War II, for instance, Norbert Wiener, the founder of cybernetics, publicly stated that he would not aid the military agencies in the United States in utilizing his work. More recently, Andrei Sakharov, often referred to as the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, has at great personal risk spoken out against the continuous accumulation of weapons. For nearly two decades, the Pugwash Conferences have provided a forum at which scientists and engineers from around the world have discussed the opportunities for limiting weapons and for the peaceful application of scientific and technological resources. Scientists and engineers have played important roles in various arms control efforts such as the debate over the deployment of an antiballistic missile system in the United States, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the worldwide movement to halt the development of biological weapons. And yet, even the most committed among them would concede that the pace of weapon development has hardly slackened because of their efforts and that there remains substantial obstacles to the control of arms. These obstacles are different for different types of weapon projects. Largescale development projects, though technically susceptible to external monitoring, are buttressed by economic and institutional interests. Smaller-scale applied research projects, perhaps less problematic in terms of their supporting interests, are nearly immune to external monitoring. Unobtrusive verification techniques have been effectively used by the superpowers to monitor each other's force deployments. Presumably, the same techniques can be used to determine the existence of any major weapon project that they might agree to ban since these projects, it carries out, reveal themselves through such details as the prodigious consumption of energy, large employment concentrations and the construction of specialized facilities. The problem is, of course, gaining agreement to demobilize resources currently utilized in the development of major weapon systems. If the West European experience is a guide, the transferability of these resources can be expected to be low even when they are superfluous militarily. Organizations, perhaps more so than individuals, are reluctant to face the uncertainties of shifting fields. In the United States and the Soviet Union, where claims for the potential reemployment of the resources for military purposes can be made, the affected interests are not likely to be any more cooperative. Moreover, restrictions placed on one type of weapon development in themselves create incentives to redeploy the resources freed to other types of weapon developments. When the major naval powers of the world agreed in the 1920's to limit the number of capital ships, work was concentrated on the
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development of aircraft carriers and submarines, ship types not then classified as capital. Today, in the face of agreements to limit the quantity of strategic missiles, the United States and the Soviet Union are busy exploring qualitative improvements in these missiles. Applied research projects present other problems. Although scientists and engineers employed on these projects may have grown accustomed to military support, their work most often can easily be shifted to apparently peaceful activities. The resources they absorb are neither large not politically significant. Work at this level, however, is extremely difficult to monitor and to control. Discoveries in genetics, for example, can have dangerous military as well as beneficial medical applications. The existence and direction of the work can easily be disguised. Even on-site inspections are likely to reveal little about the intent of the research. And since intent is such a crucial element in this type of activity, there is bound to be much uncertainty about the effectiveness of restrictions achieved or asserted. It is precisely this uncertainty that leads some to argue that it is perhaps best not to attempt to control applied military research. With sure knowledge of what is technologically feasible or infeasible in weapons gained through one's own research, one need not assume a potential adversary possesses the capability to alter dramatically the power balance. Continued military research might well enhance the opportunity for increased mutual trust, the keystone of disarmament. Ironically though, the superpowers might someday discover that the true danger to peace lies not in a future breakthrough in a weapon technology, but in their own past achievements in weapons. Knowledge once created is indestructible. The diffusion of nuclear power, binary gas or some other awesome weapon technology to nations or political groups not allied with or controlled by one of them could well destroy the balance of mutual terror which they have so carefully constructed and which could well be the final legacy of the billions they have invested in military research in the years since World War II. It is not merely that we have here problems of formidable technical difficulty and the most trying kind of socio-political decision making. We also lack the fundamental knowledge of so much of the process of decision making in this area. Clearly the implications of military research and development run through the very fabric of science policy, and we must therefore claim for research in this area a much higher priority and a more integrated approach than hitherto. ******

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