- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 1, 2005

I disagree with Professor Donald Losman (“Too much military R&D;?” Dec. 26). The Islamist terrorist threat requires us to redouble our R&D; efforts; weapons to fight the Soviets do not guarantee success in this World War. This threat requires novel ways to fight it and the “old” R&D; results may not be very useful.

Developing reliable sensors to “identify” hidden or prior handling of explosives by people before they gain access to our military bases is vital. Conducting research in the psychology of potential terrorists will become even more important as we rely increasingly on immigrants from troubled regions to handle very deadly military weapons. Routine background checks as now conducted do not protect us from “sleeper” terrorists.

Developing ways to identify on Defense Department hardware suspicious e-mail patterns and other hidden activities on terrorists might use to communicate or nefariously affect our information systems will require serious research funding.

None of these initiatives are likely to receive private-sector attention or NATO allied funding. A host of other offensive capabilities, both lethal and nonlethal, is being developed that will increase our service personnel’s capabilities as they confront this threat over the long term. These developments require new thinking, will be expensive and should be funded.

BORIS NAZAROFF

Mr. Nazaroff studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF).

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