TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Direct and Indirect Military Spending

Re: Direct and Indirect Military Spending

T (
Tue, 10 Apr 2007 17:07:18 -0400

In article <>,

> I would like to expand what I mentioned earlier about the Defense
> Department supporting the early growth of the Internet and its
> precedessors.

> I divide military spending into two categories, direct and indirect.

> What I call Direct would be for direct military purchases, like guns,
> tanks, and the like. That may or may not have civilian benefit. The
> Jeep certainly did, originally developed as a military vehicle, it
> found widespread civilian use to this day. Certain engines in tanks
> were later used in civilian commercial vehicles. The makers of Tang
> beverage drink claim this, I don't know if the claim is true.

> An example would be IBM's SAGE computer used for invasion radar
> control tracking. This was not something civilians bought. However,
> IBM learned a great deal from developing the project which helped in
> subsequent civilian products.

> What I call Indirect would be generally supporting a product
> purchaseable by anyone, but getting a boost by the defense purchase.
> I call the Internet predecessor part of this. Or, products purchased
> by defense contractors to enable them to do a contract.

> An earlier example would be IBM's first computer, the 701. It was a
> civilian product with no direct military involvement. But it was
> purchased mostly by companies and organizations with defense business,
> such as fighter jet aerospace companies or nuclear research labs.

> The old Bell System was a major defense contractor, in both plain
> communication systems and advanced electronics, such as fire control.
> I am not sure if any of the many products Bell Labs/Western Electric
> did in WW II or later inspired a civilian product or benefit. AFAIK
> almost all civilian telephone entities were expressly developed for
> such purpose. (Perhaps the 4 ESS, the toll switching machine was done
> for Autovon first???)

I know of one device where Bell was instrumental, and that was
centimeter and millimeter RADAR. The British may have invented the
magnetron, but Bell invented the MASER.

That MASER btw spawned the 802.11G wireless system I use. Let's not
forget the earlier development of the transistor, or the later
development of the ruby LASER.

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