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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A proposed 7 percent cut by the House Appropriations Committee to the Department of Defense (DOD) basic research budget would have dire consequences for the future safety of soldiers, the security of our nation, and ultimately, innovations that will benefit the lives of all Americans.
DOD research has made America’s military the safest, strongest and most technologically advanced in the world. But many technologies on which the military relies today—such as lasers, GPS, fiber optics, advanced cryptology and even digital communication (the Internet)—trace their origin to past DOD investments in long-term, scientific research. And civilian applications of many technologies intended originally for military purposes have become staples of the nation’s economy and modern life. Long-term DOD research has not only enhanced our national security, but also stimulated economic growth and enabled extraordinary advances in medicine.
Slashing DOD funding, as the White House has proposed and the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has recommended, jeopardizes the future safety of our men and women in uniform and compromises the future technological development. Ironically, both the White House and the House support total DOD spending that exceeds the Budget Control Act caps by more than $37 billion. APS calls on Congress to increase the U.S. investment in long-term DOD research, a sage move lawmakers made last year. Our economic and national security are both at stake. Keeping DOD funding on a robust, reliable path would be a prudent decision.
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The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.