Pentagon spends millions researching explosives & whale detection at German Universities

Universities all throughout Germany have been engaged in dual-purpose and military-related initiatives for the Pentagon, which has reportedly poured millions into the work, typically in violation of native legal guidelines that promote non-violence.

The US Department of Defense appears to have outsourced a few of its scientific efforts to dozens of German universities, in line with Der Spiegel. The journal scrutinized a database on US authorities acquisitions and discovered that $21.7 million of taxpayers’ cash was spent on tons of of scientific analysis grants since 2008.

Most of the initiatives, predictably, revolved round know-how and pure sciences, and didn’t instantly relate to the navy. But a few of them have been, certainly, eye-catching.

One grant, value $1.72 million, was given to Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich to discover a substitute for RDX, an explosive extensively used since as early as 19th century. LMU, considered one of Germany’s greatest know-how hubs, additionally obtained $3.7 million for 23 separate initiatives. 

Another heart, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research, acquired $973,000 between 2013 and 2017 to develop infrared-based system permitting for whale detection. Der Spiegel believes that this know-how – ineffective for the navy at first look – could possibly be employed in submarine operations, calling it “a classic example of the dual-use thing.”

The Pentagon itself left little question as to why it was spending that cash on German brains and know-how. Their analysis was essential for “improvement of army programs or operations,” and helped be certain that there shall be no “technological surprises for our nation,” in line with among the challenge descriptions.

Some of the funding got here in violation of native legal guidelines, Der Spiegel writes. The western state of North Rhine-Westphalia requires that students contribute to “a sustainable, peaceful and democratic world” in addition to to be “committed to peaceful goals.”

Nevertheless, many universities did interact in Pentagon-funded initiatives that had clear navy functions.

Back within the US, the navy additionally invests sizeable quantities of cash in hi-tech initiatives, benefiting from its large $686-billion funds. Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the most talked-about space the place the Pentagon has been providing beneficiant contracts to prime corporations like Google, Amazon and Microsoft.