Frances Fragos Townsend

Articles by Frances Fragos Townsend

10 March 2009

Supporting science at the nuclear weapons labs

Frances Fragos TownsendLt. Gen. Donald Kerrick

During the 1970s and 1980s, the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons budget allowed for a healthy amount of high-risk, long-term basic research to be conducted at the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories. Much of this research grew out of, but diverged from, the labs' core weapons-related capabilities. Importantly, the wide-ranging capabilities at these laboratories allowed other national security agencies to tap into that expertise on an "as needed" basis without making the long-term investments necessary to build and sustain it.