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[infowar.de] Pentagon will viel Geld ausgeben für High-Tech
Pentagon has long-term plans to boost tech spending
BY CHRIS O'BRIEN
San Jose Mercury News 28.1.2002
The official in charge of the Pentagon's finances said Monday that a
proposal to increase high-tech spending in the next defense budget is
the first step in a long-term plan to incorporate more technology
into all branches of the military.
Dov Zakheim, under secretary of defense and chief financial officer for
the Pentagon, said the military's long-term goal is to increase
science and technology spending from 2 1/2 to 3 percent of a
defense budget that may grow next year to more than $375 billion --
an increase that would mean billions of extra dollars for high-tech
The focus on technology is part of a massive effort to transform the way
the Pentagon operates and was well under way even before the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But Zakheim said the war in
Afghanistan has driven home the need for a new approach to
fighting battles that may find the military turning more and more
to Silicon Valley for ideas and products.
``This war is a very different kind of war,'' Zakheim said. ``It's being
fought by people on horseback with satellite phones. We have to learn
to conduct ourselves differently.''
Zakheim has served in numerous defense-related government positions over
the years but also recently was corporate vice president of
System Planning, a technology, research and analysis firm in
Virginia. His long-time advocacy of technology in the military
puts him in lock step with the current secretary of defense, Donald
Under a project dubbed ``Transforming the Military,'' defense officials
have been exploring the use of advanced technologies like
unpiloted airplanes that can fire missiles, unpiloted sea vehicles
that can search for underwater explosives, new battlefield
communications systems and new applications for artificial
intelligence. Zakheim said the military wants to push the boundaries of
computers and communications in the coming years.
``The opportunities are there, and we all feel there's an advantage to a
closer dialogue with Silicon Valley,'' Zakheim said.
Silicon Valley leaders have been drooling at the prospect of increased
spending on defense-related technologies, though that money has yet
to materialize. Of the $40 billion in emergency appropriations to
deal with the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Pentagon received about $17
billion, with most of that going toward funding the operations
in Afghanistan, Zakheim said.
President Bush has proposed increasing spending on homeland security
from $19 billion to $38 billion next year. In addition, Bush
will ask the U.S. Congress to grant the Defense Department an extra $48
billion next year -- the largest such increase in more than 20
That would put the defense budget close to $375 billion, though it's
such a large increase that it would temporarily shrink the percentage
of science and technology spending -- even though both
categories will get more dollars next year. Zakheim refused to say
how much of the increase was targeted toward science and
technology, saying more details would be available in the days after
the State of the Union address scheduled tonight.
However, he said, the amount of new money for technology would be
substantial. And over the long run, as technology grows as a percentage
of the budget, it would mean billions more each year.
``That's not trivial money,'' Zakheim said. ``Even in Silicon Valley.''
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