The classified budget of the Defense Department, concealed from the public in all but outline, has nearly doubled in the Bush years, to $32 billion. That is more than the combined budgets of the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Foundation and NASA.
Those billions have expanded a secret world of advanced science and technology in which military units and federal contractors push back the frontiers of warfare. In the past, such handiwork has produced some of the most advanced jets, weapons and spy satellites, as well as some notorious boondoggles.
Budget documents tell little. This year, for instance, the Pentagon says Program Element 0603891c is receiving $196 million but will disclose nothing about what the project does. Private analysts say it apparently is meant for developing space weapons."
In addition to the United States, countries participating in the April 8-22 manoeuvres will include France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Malta, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya.
The operation, codenamed Phoenix Express 2008, aims at joint training in procedures for surveillance of cargo vessels, patrolling and rescue work, said a statement by the Greek naval command in Athens...
The project, which involves building and networking an array of weapons and battlefield sensors, is now projected to cost $128.5 billion, 45.5 percent more than was expected when it began development in 2003. The program’s timeline has also lept by 59 percent, from a 91-month acquisition cycle in 2003 to 145 months today.
Imagine a world in which any insect fluttering past your window may be a remote-controlled spy, packed with surveillance equipment. Even more frightening is the prospect that such creatures could be weaponized, and the possibility, according to one scientist intimately familiar with the US project, that these cyborg insects might be armed with ‘bio weapons’, notes Nick Turse.....