Washington DC (TFC)— Johns Hopkins University was recently awarded a Department of Defense (DoD) contract, according to the agency’s website. Worth $13 million dollars, the contract covers a wide range of tactical area’s geared towards offensive operations. The lucrative agreement represents the latest in a history of cooperative work between the prestigious college and the defense community.
The contract was announced on DoD’s website on February 7th, 2018 alongside nine others across the Army, Navy, and Air Force. John Hopkin’s contract, however, was the only one filed under “Washington Headquarters Services”. It calls on the university to provide “assessments and alternatives of offensive capabilities within the domains of air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.” Specifically, Johns Hopkin’s University will examine “missions and warfare area’s that asymmetrically mitigate threat effectiveness, impose cost, and/or create ambiguity in adversary decision-making.”
It’s not the first time the college has received a giga-sized pay off from the defense community. Back in 2015, the university won an even larger contract worth over $400 million by US Special Operations Command. Like its more recent counterpart, this contract was for research and development. The job’s detail included “theoretical analyses, exploratory studies, and/or experiments in various fields of science and technology.” It’s a broad range of prospects which might’ve also included engineering, or “the practical application of investigative findings” involving scientific or technical theories related to US Special Operations.
Yet another contract worth $7 million was awarded in March of 2015 with John Hopkin’s Applied Physics Lab. It was very similar to the one issued just days ago, covering all area’s of DoD operation from land to cyberspace. The input would help inform offensive operations to streamline and augment tactical analysis. Johns Hopkins University, besides hosting a recent speech by Defense Secretary James Mattis, also medically trains thousands of US Military personnel. The college participated in US military drills and had an adjunct professor serve as DoD’s Deputy Assistant of Defense for Strategy and Force Development.
Colleges having relationships with the military isn’t anything new. Even high schools are frequented by uniformed military recruiters making all sorts of promises. The highest performing candidates, or sometimes the most privileged, attend university under an ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program transcending the non-commissioned officer rank barrier.
Sometimes relationships between educational institutions and the military tie-in financial incentives. However, it’s interesting to see Johns Hopkins having such a bond with the Department of Defense. Everything from placing professors in high places, to winning contracts worth millions with US Special Operations. Research and development is certainly a sizable chunk of the military budget Johns Hopkins is cashing in on.
While the college is an ally of the DoD, it’s pushed back against President Donald Trump. Providing several examples of research, studies, and critical analysis breaking down the president’s possible psychological instabilities, or reckless disregard for guarding intel. Is there cause for concern with a major educational institution like Johns Hopkins University having such deep financial and asset ties to the DoD?