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Under the Department of Defense Minerva will provide $50 million to fund academic research on five separate themes. One focus will be on China, a second on terrorism, a third on Iraq, a fourth on Islam, and a fifth that is open. The goal is to create improved relations between the Department of Defense and the universities and to develop knowledge that the military can benefit from in the long term.
Minerva has proven controversial. Although many scholars support Minerva, a number of academic researchers have sounded public alarm about the prospect of Defense Department funding for research. The American Anthropological Association sent a public letter suggesting that the funding be transferred to a different body, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). Hugh Gusterson, a prominent anthropologist at George Mason University, has written a series of articles in a variety of venues that have attracted significant attention. He worries that:
"any attempt to centralize thinking about culture and terrorism under the Pentagon’s roof will inevitably produce an intellectually shrunken outcome....The Pentagon will have the false comfort of believing that it has harnessed the best and the brightest minds, when in fact it will have only received a very limited slice of what the ivory tower has to offer—academics who have no problem taking Pentagon funds. Social scientists call this “selection bias,” and it can lead to dangerous analytical errors."
The charter of the U.S. State Failure Task Force prohibits it from discussing state failure in the U.S. or making forecasts of U.S. state failure, but by their definitions, there is little doubt that for a time anyway all relevant governmental authorities in the U.S. suffered a "complete or partial collapse of state authority" and so the U.S. would seem to fit that definition. I haven't checked, but I doubt their model or our's had any ability forecast these events.
Project Camelot... generated when we... spent the weekend in Tintagel, England...We named our project in tribute to the vision behind the utopian idea of the Round Table...Ever since our launch in 2006...