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October 11, 1985 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-11
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w s w w


I 1


"The relationship betwen the
universities and the Pentagon started
during World War II. They came
together to build the bomb, but we had
a war then and that made sense."
Nimroody contends that the SDI
research will serve to escalate
University involvement with the
military complex to the highest level
since the Vietnam war. "What the SDI
is doing in this time of peace is totally
questionable. It is making those
departments dependent, hostages to
the Pentagon's political will."
Still, the Strategic Defense
Initiative Office in Washington is
unabashed in its use of the mythic in
hyping the reality.
A call for the project proposals
issued by the SDI office says, "... this
is a new and exciting time for all of us
in the science and engineering com-
munity, and we hope you will avail
yourself of the unique opportunity to
participate in the fascinating and
challenging research program we are
about to describe to you..."
Star Wars promises to be a voyage
beyond the realm of the simply
nuclear age, and Ionson is a most
congenial host, requesting that those
interested in joining the crew, "bear
in mind that any 'new ship' requires a
'shakedown cruise' and we harbor no
illusions regarding our programmatic
philosophy as we embark on our
Fiscal Year '86 journey."
It is a $3.7 billion tour designed to of-
fer some evidence that the Star Wars
theory is more than just a wishful
notion to escape the threat of nuclear

Regnt' resolution: SDI
research 'encouraged'
September 20, 1985
WHEREAS, The University is the crucible in which scholars seek truth
and fact to find new knowledge, and
WHEREAS, The University of Michigan upholds the primacy of
academic freedom and continually' encourages free and open in-
vestigation in all of the scholarly disciplines, and
WHEREAS, The University of Michigan as a public institution has an
obligation to serve the state and the nation's public good, including the
defense of the nation, and
WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States has enacted and the
President has signed legislation to undertake research into that concept
commonly called the Strategic Defense initiative, and
WHEREAS, The scholarly community at the University is divided in its
opinion concerning participation in Strategic Defense Initiatve research,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the University of
Michigan recognizes and defends the individual decisions of its scholarly
community to participate or not participate in specific research
FURTHER RESOLVED that scholars who wish to participate in
Strategic Defense Initiatve Research are encouraged to undertake that
research within the framework of the Regents' By-Laws.
THE University Record.

researched at universities across the
nation, including the University of
Michigan, where the Board of Regen-
ts and University President Harold
Shapiro have endorsed the resoltuion
"encouraging" the weapons systems
research here.
"It is an unusually political
statement for the regents to have
made," said physics Prof. Gordon
Kane. "I would have hoped the regen-
ts would have aspired for something
better for us than to be aligned with
Georgia Tech and Texas A&M," said
Kane in reference to other univer-

today's, but the trends look
promising," Ionson told the Friday
night crowd at the SDI conference.
"...We just simply do not know yet,
and that is why we are researching.
We simply do not know. We shouldn't
just sit back with a knee jerk reaction
and say this is impossible. We simply
must research for at least five years to
see what these trends are."
So the SDI office has launched its
mission-oriented research: five years
and an estimated $23 billion worth of
what Ionson called a "tricky, tran-
sitional phase to prove the
technology can be developed and

couldn't be stopped. And you can
carry nuclear devices around by hand
and assemble them-suitcase bom-
bs-so there's no way to stop the
threat. It's something we have to live
For university researchers who
must compete in the increasingly
defense-oriented fields of high-
technology science, SDI funding is
very attractive. As Ionson said,
"People go where the bucks are."
Indeed, Michigan is far behind in
terms of winning SDI-related contract
dollars: The University of Texas
leads the pack with $25,839,871, while

'It would have to be virtually leak proof.
Even if they catch 90 percent of the 10,000
warheads, that would mean 1,000 getting
through and that would set this country back
to the Middle Ages.'
- Prof. Daniel Axelrod

'Star Wars will.. .transcend arms control by
providing the Soviets with the incentive to
reduce, with trends towards a defense
dominated world.'
- Prof. Raymond Tanter

governing classified research to deny
contracts "any specific purpose of
which is to destroy human life."
The guidelines stipulate that no
research project undertaken by a
researcher affiliated with the Univer-
sity may be limited in its publications
or lead to the destruction of human
The guidelines are presently enfor-
ced by the Research Policies Commit-
tee, which evaluates potential projec-
That panel's rejection of an SDI-
related proposal submitted by Tanter
on the political implications of space-
based defensive technologies brought
the guidelines under scrutiny again
this summer. Tanter's proposal was
rejected on the basis that it would
violate Section 2 of the University's
classified research guidelines, which
states that "the University will not en-
ter into... any agreement that limits
the open publication of results beyond
approximately one year." Tanter's
proposed research would have in-
volved the use of classified federal
documents which would allow the
government to restrict the publication
of his officially "secret" findings.
Since the rejection of Tanter's
proposal the regents passed a
resolution calling for an executive
committee to reviewrthe guidelines.
Regent Thomas Road (D-Saline) told
the Ann Arbor News that "maybe we
will discover that the guidelines are a
product of their time and have
outlived their usefulness.
It is this issue of classification
which is perhaps the most sensitive
of the Star Wars research im-
plications. Many members of the
University community have ex-
pressed concern that research projec-
ts contracted by the SDI office may be
unclassified when they are awarded
and subsequently become classified if
they prove successful.
Ionson doggedly guarantees that

and s
ch foi
top r
the I
lend C
to an
has si
such z
by ov

sities which have officially endorsed
SDI research.
"The top places, MIT, and Cal
Tech-the best universities-are not
encouraging university-related Star
Wars research."
Kane said that he would "like to
convince a lot of my colleagues not to
apply" for SDI money but said he was trying
to refrain from applying pressure. "I
just hope I might be able to make
some of them understand."
Sensitive to the issue of academic
peer pressure, Kane said, "I have
been given the impression by the
College of Engineering that there are
people who would like to speak out
against SDI research and have
definitely gottenrthe impressionhthat
they will be punished if they do so."
Kock said that Howe has been
soliciting SDI-related proposals from
his colleagues. "He probably feels it
bringsdprestige to the University,"
she said.
Last year the University received $6
million from the Pentagon, and this
year there is potential to double that
amount if all the pending Star Wars
proposals are granted. It is this an-
ticipated influx of defense department
funding which has brought attention
to the issues of academic freedom and
moral restraint-a veritable war of
When the President first enunciated
the SDI program plans in March of
1983, no substantive research had
been done regarding the feasibility of
deploying such a sophisticated defen-
se system.
And it still hasn't been done. But
that doesn't worry James Ionson at
all. In fact, the $3.7 billion President
Reagan has requested for research
during fiscal year 19$6 is what Ionson,
a director of the Strategic Defense
Initiative Office in Washington, quite
candidly states is just the beginning of
a "five year basic research phase" to
explore the feasibility of the system.
"Can today's technology be con-
solidated into a (strategic) defensive
sytem that is cost effective? Not

While scientists here and around the
country who oppose the initiative busy
themselves with signing petitions and
issuing manifestos declaring boycotts
of SDI-funded research, Ionson is con-
fident as the plans move full steam
Ionson said that he has received
over 3,000 research proposals. "Three
thousand proposals, but they each
represent about three researchers,"
said Ionson.
U niversity Prof. Ray Tanter, a
political scientist who formerly
negotiated arms control treaties for
the Reagan administration, said Star
Wars will effectively "... transcend
arms control by providing the Soviets
with the incentive to reduce, with
trends towards a defense-dominated
world," as opposed to the present of-
fensive-force-dominated military
But there are those who say it just
won't work.
"It would have to be virtually leak
proof", said physics Prof. Daniel
Axelrod during the conference
workshop last weekend. "Even if they
catch 90 percent of the 10,000
warheads that would mean 1,000 get-
ting through and that would set this
country back to the Middle Ages. And
this is the defense the most optimistic
of proponents are talking about."
"That Star Wars can easily be
defeated, that it costs way too much,
that it's a gigantic hoax on the public
- these statements are all true, but
they still miss the most dangerous
point. The fact is that Star Wars ap-
pears as nothing more than an attem-
pt to remove the Soviets' ability to
retaliate against a U.S. first strike
against them," Axelrod said.
Axelrod's colleague, physics Prof.
Gordon Kane, said, "The whole Star
Wars debate is wrong. Because it
won't do you any good to stop one way
of delivering missiles. The cruise and
the submarine launched missiles

less "ambitious" institutions like
Stanford University are SDI funded at
just over $4 million.
The fact that over 50 percent of the
Star Wars dollars will be funnelled in-
to the academic arena means that the
Department of Defense will quite
clearly have a more significant link to
the academic community and the con-
troversial development of weapons
systems within the academic com-
It is that increasing dependency on
the Department of Defense for
research funding that has researchers
here and across the country em-
broiled in what former University
Vice President for Research Alfred
Sussman calls "the hardest question

'The person who classifies research is stan-
ding here, and I'm telling you it won't be
- James Ionson,
Director of the SDI Office

I-ya 0

The Michigan Daily Arts Page and
Weekend Magazine are currently
accepting applications, pleas,
resumes, and bribes for admission
to their writing staffs.
Make your case to 70-0379: Do it today.

of all: "How involved should the
academic community be with resear-
ching the development of the weapons
"This research is extremely ap-
plied... and the University as a whole
shouldn't be doing such applied
things," Kane said. "Let industry
and government labs work out the ap-
Concern about the University's in-
volvement in military research was
sparked in the early 1970s when the
University conducted significant
research on ballistic missiles and in-
fra-red heat sensing. Student and
faculty protest resulted in the 1972
formulation of University guidelines

the work will remain unclassified.
"The person who classifies research
is standing here, and I'm telling you it
will not be done," he said at last
weekend's conference.
But University professors say they
doubt that promise. "Ionson is saying
this is non-classified research and
those assurances are just not ones we
can rely on" said physics Prof.
Michael Bretz, who has been in-
strumental in circulating anti-Star
Wars petitions within his department.
Although the SDI funds are being
allocated out of a Pentagon budget
category which specifically includes
research that has "moved into the
development of hardware for testing"

$930 n
the fa
for un
sity I
from I

10 Weekend/Friday, October'11; 1985


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