Friday, 12 February 1988
NSF DENIES REPORTS OF A 12.5% CUT IN RENEWAL GRANTS.
The NSF objected to a story in "WHAT'S NEW" (29 Jan 88) referring to
a cut in individual-investigator grants. According to the NSF
Controller, "Ongoing programs, particularly awards to individual
investigators, have generally been maintained at 1987 levels or
given small increases." However, we continue to receive reports
of cuts from leaders in their fields. It is reminiscent of the
fighter who, when told that his opponent hadn't laid a glove on
him, suggested that someone watch the referee. We would
appreciate hearing from grantees who have first-hand knowledge.
. SENATE RATIFICATION OF THE INF TREATY COULD BE DELAYED
by the continuing squabble over the "broad interpretation" of the
1972 ABM Treaty. The Senate ratified the ABM Treaty by a vote of
88-2 with the understanding that it bans the development and
testing, as well as the deployment, of space-based ABM systems or
components. Two years ago, however, an Administration lawyer
reinterpreted the treaty to allow the testing of certain key
components of Star Wars involving new technologies. This
exception had gone unnoticed for 13 years and other experts still
can't find it. Senator Nunn (D-GA) and others argue that the
Administration cannot reinterpret a treaty without Senate
approval (WN 20 Nov 87).
The issue came up again with respect to
the INF Treaty, when Democratic leaders asked for a letter of
assurance from Secretary of State Shultz stating that a treaty
means what the Administration says it means when it asks for
ratification. Shultz gave in and sent such a letter to Nunn and
Robert Byrd, the Majority Leader, but angry conservatives are now
demanding a second letter from Shultz declaring that the first
letter has nothing to do with interpretation of the ABM treaty.
3. THE APS STUDY ON DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS
was the focus of an
arms control symposium held this morning at the AAAS meeting in
Boston. In the ten months since it was issued (WN
24 Apr 87),
the study has changed the character of the debate over Star
Wars. As Kumar Patel, co-chairman of the study panel pointed
out, many of the conclusions of the DEW study are reinforced by
the report of a Defense Science Board Task Force
(WN 10 July 87). An SDI spokesman offered no disagreement. The Office of
Technology Assessment Study, "SDI: Technology, Survivability and
Software," is also thought to support the APS study
(WN 23 Oct 87), but it is still mired in classification review seven months
after its completion. This surpasses the previous record for an
outside report on SDI--a record set by the APS study.
4. REFORM OF EXPORT CONTROLS ON TECHNICAL DATA
was the subject
of a public forum yesterday at the Department of Commerce.
Numerous industry witnesses complained that controls are still
applied to technologies, such as the manufacture of corn flakes,
that have little military significance.