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FIGURE NHS-2 Trends in defense R&D, FY 1976-FY 2006.

SOURCE: American Association for the Advancement of Science. Chart: Trends in Defense R&D: FY 1976-2006. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, February 2005. Available at:

opment as opposed to research (see Figure NHS-2). The portion of the DOD R&D budget devoted to basic research (the “6.1” account) has declined in constant dollars from 3.3% in FY 1994 to an estimated 1.9% in FY 2005 (see Figure NHS-3).1 In addition, within that account there has been increasing emphasis on research that appears more likely to yield short-term payoffs rather than the more open exploration that has been so important to past advances. The President’s budget request for FY 2006 called for a 13% cut in the 6.1 account, which by July 2005 the House of Representatives had partially restored to a 4% decrease. The House also called for a 4.2% gain in applied research (the “6.2” account) rather than the 15% reduction called for by the President’s budget request, although the gain would come largely in the form of earmarks.2

Beyond meeting the immediate perceived R&D needs of the US military, broad service policy documents, such as Joint Vision 2010 and 2020, look toward substantial expansions in the breadth and depth of S&T to support US strategy.3 The transformation goals set forth in DOD’s 2001


Funding for the 6.2 “applied research” account has gone up and down but now is 5.5% in FY 2005 compared with 7.6% in FY 1994. Constant dollar and percentage calculations by the Council on Competitiveness based on American Association for the Advancement of Science, “Historical Table: Trends in DOD ‘S&T,’ 1994-2005.”


American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Update on R&D in FY 2006 DOD House Appropriations.” July 2005.


National Research Council. Assessment of Department of Defense Basic Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005.

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