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Military innovation, cont’d

A readers writes in to argue that my post on military innovation misses an important difference between R&D costs in the military and R&D costs as we usually think of them:

As a former civilian Director of the Air Force’s basic research program (now retired), I’d like to make one very important point that is usually lost in the discussions of R&D. The DOD budget for R&D is huge, but that is because it includes all of the product development and testing costs for the final products which the DOD then purchases. In almost every other area of Federal R&D, it is the private sector which foots that bill.

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