Responding to concerns from the community (pdf), two reports, a hearing, and a set of answers from DARPA that all suggested DOD has curtailed much of its university-led long-term efforts in computing, the Senate Armed Services Committee included language in their version of the FY 2006 Defense Authorization bill that calls on DOD to review “the long-term practical and policy implications of the Department’s investment strategy for computing research” and report back to Congress as part of the agency’s FY 2007 budget request. Here’s the language from the committee report accompanying the legislation:
Department of Defense computer science research
The committee is concerned that the Department of Defense is reducing its investment in long-term computer science research, without due consideration of the potential negative ramifications of such reductions on the development of next generation networking, information technology, and information assurance systems on which our military will depend in the future. The committee notes that the Presidents Information Technology Advisory Committee and the Defense Science Board have both released reports this year that call attention to the potential impacts of reduced funding on the part of the Department in fundamental computer science.
The committee directs the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology to carefully examine the long-term practical and policy implications of the Departments investment strategy for computing research and to provide the outcome of this review to the congressional defense committees with the fiscal year 2007 budget request. The review should include an explanation of the Departments role in the overall federal computing research portfolio and a review of the Departments structure and investment plan for these programs.
The full Senate is slated to take up the bill immediately after the chaos surrounding judicial confirmations subsides.