tv The Imagineers of War CSPAN June 24, 2017 8:01am-9:01am EDT
and moderate income families manage money. also this weekend, gay talese reflects on his 60-year career, and historian herb boyd provides a history of african-americans in detroit. mr. boyd will be our guest next sunday live on "in depth" to answer questions about his work. you can visit booktv.org for more information. that's just a few of the authors you'll see this weekend on booktv on c-span2. 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books, television for serious readers. and now we kick off the weekend with shane weinberger who reports on -- sharon weinberger who reports on the pentagon agency, darpa. [inaudible conversations]
>> good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the gaithersburg book festival. my name is mark corpsman, i'm ab state legislator from district 16. gaithersburg proudly supports the arts and humanities. we're pleased to bring you thiss fabulous event thanks in part to the generous support of our sponsors and volunteers. a few announcements. first, please silence your devices. if you're on social media today, and we sure hope you are, pleasc use the hashtag gbf. your feedback is also really valuable to us. surveys are available here at the tent and on our web site. you'll be entered into a drawing for a $100 visa gift card. our author will be signing books immediately after this presentation, and copies are on sale in the politics & prose week tent just to your right -- book tent just to your right. this is a free event, but itbo does help the book festival if you buy a book, and the more
books you buy, the more books the festival sells, the more publishers will want to send their authors here to speak with us, and purchasing books from politics & prose benefits our local economy and supports local jobs. i have a bag full over there myself, so i hope you'll enjoy me. if you enjoy this program and you're in a position to do so, please buy some books today. our author this afternoon is sharon weinbergering, and the book is the imagineers of war. this is sharon's third book and also her third what i'll call long form exploration of the research, weapons and practices of the department of defense. sharon began her career as a defense analyst and then became a journalist and author, shifting her searching eye inward at the defensive establishment. and she's now actually the executive editor of foreign policy. they actually do a great morning briefing e-mail if you want to know everything that's happening in the world and don't have time
to find it all yourself. the defense advanced research products agency, darpa, has a solid reputation, especially for denizens of the d.c. area and contributing to things like the birth of the internet and gps. but sharon's book explores darpa from its birth as america's first space agency to the present and some of its lessen successful work including an atmospheric belt of radiation to deter nuclear weapons, counterinsurgency practice in vietnam and superhuman soldiers. it's a multifaceted story of colorful personalities, a few major successes, a lot of fanciful failures and an agency ever in search of a mission. if you get to the back of the book and look at the sources -- and i know you all flip right to the sources when reading the book -- you'll see when sharon wrote this history, she did it without is access to any of darpa's classified materials.
which, frankly, you might wonder why some of the stuff isn't classified. you'll wonder how she was able to figure all out without that access. i look forward to hearing more about this book with sharon and how she was able to write it with such success. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome sharon weinberger. [applause] >> thank you, mark. finish i wanted to tart off by thanking the gaithersburg book festival and politics and prose, both of which are great venues for writers. and when you spend so many years, in my case over four years, working on a book and people actually want to hear yot talk about it, not just read the book, but hear about what motivated you to work on it and your passions and interest, that's wonderful. and for me, the opportunity to meet readers who want to share in my interests and passions, that's also a special opportunity, so thank you.s, i'm here today to talk about darpa, something that is more associated today with sort of
science fiction technology. people who have heard about it,e and for a lot of people have but for some people it's still a rather esoteric agency, they think of it in connection with things like stealth aircraft, with drones that are responsible for the targeted killings in places like afghanistan, iraq, yemen and elsewhere.el they associate it most notably, perhaps, with the internet which, indeed, traces back to darpa lineage.ck or perhaps driverless cars which are now coming into their own or to sirri, the app on your iphone which is tied directly back to darpa funding. but i'm not here to talk about so much the technology as the origins of how darpa became what it was and what i think made it at times successful and at times unsuccessful. and it goes back to my career writing on pentagon-funded science and technology, something that has fascinated me for over a decade. one of the questions i ask is how is science conducted in the national security skate or
how -- state, or how is itse funded than that by civil institutions or in academia or in industry? and why should we care about the difference? well, i think that question is even more relevant today. i've given several versions of this talk over the past two month since the book came out, and each time i give the talk, i've been thinking more and more about what's going on today in the country and the relevancy of the themes i examine. i initially chose the selection, the chapter i'm talking aboute today, because it upends our notion of darpa as a technology agency because it looks at a period of darpa history in the vietnam war when the agency was moving beyond technology and into the social sciences and behavioral sciences and the role of the pentagon in the social sciences. but i think especially it's relevant today as we're seeing debates in the country about proposed cuts to science in sort of the civilian institutions, meaning the national institutes
of health, cuts for climate research. at the same time, we're seeing a proposal to increase funding for the military and defense department. well, traditionally when funding for the defense department is increased, funding for darpa has increased. so what i would pose here today is what we're seeing is not necessarily a cut in science, but similar to what happened in the cold war, a shift of funding from civil science to military-fund science x. rather than say it's a good or bad thing, what i would challenge everyone today is to think about the implications of it, whether good, whether bad and what that means for science and for our country. and i also chose this election today, which is from a chapter called blame it on the sourcer isers, because it is about the manipulation of fact and most importantly war, and as a country that's been at war for 16 years, i think the questions this chapter raises are more important than ever. is so this chapter takes us back to the vietnam war period which
i actually argue is the most important period for darpa's development and is the origin after almost all of the technologies today that we think about when we think about darpa, meaning stealth aircraft, to some extent even the internet all traces back to that very the tumultuous period for the country and for darpa. and the story sort of starts in 966 in vietnam -- 1966 in vietnam with a new york psychotherapist who is sent to interview a viet cong fighter imprisoned. he hasn'ted him an -- handed him an inkblot, and he asked the imprisoned fighter do you seee anything on this card that reminds you of a penis? no,no, sir. he continued, do you seeee anything here that reminds you of a woman's vagina? no, the fighter replied. this interview went on for
several hours, and neither man was in a particularly good moo.d he had been fruit he isly going through part of the classic rorschach test, and viet cong fighter was unhappy because he was staring at ink blots rather than planting bombs and culling americans which is -- killingfi americans. based in cambridge, massachusetts. the company set him to vietnam in 1966 under darpa to help the pentagon understand the growing insurgency, so let's calibrate where we are 1966. at that time there's over 180,000 american troops in vietnam which is as many as were in iraq and afghanistan at the height of our wars they are. the vietcong insurgency had grown tremendously. the pentagon papers estimated about an estimated 280,000 vietcong communist fighters.
this was up from what their estimates were of about 10000 in 1962, so 10000 to 280,000 in the insurgency was rapidly growing. there was an active uprising in south vietnam which included three months of setting themselves on fire, images which were broadcast into america's living room in the us understood and officials understood american intervention in opposition to it was rising, but they did not understand why there was opposition and why there was opposition into the us backed south vietnamese-- south vietnamese regime, but they thought scientists could up them understand, so slope was one of the people that was sent to vietnam. he was using the warsaw test which was a time to help understand psychotherapist. so far at least in this happy with the vietcong fighter that ink blocks veiled to release any
insights into the fighter. he asked the viacom fighter to go through the parts and identify something sexual. nothing. than he has the fighter to find anything that reminded him of a person. nothing again. slope seemed puzzled that an imprisoned vietcong fighter being interviewed by a man interviewed-- interviewing him about his life-- the man was elected to even touch the card. speaking of archives i found out verbatim interview of this back-and-forth in the archives at mit which goes to the question of how do you write its history and there's actually a lot declassified and also have a collection run a country, so this is what the fighter replied acquainted the interview: i don't understand these pictures, so i don't know which ones i like or dislike. slope spent seven weeks in vietnam in which time he
collected data on for vietnamese, a french educated writer, a student activist, a senior buddhist month-- mark and that vietcong prisoner. slope found the viacom-- vietcong fighter frustrating. the monk was even more cooperative. quote you know i've never seen one in the monk replied in astonishment when the monk was asked about an ink blot that resembled a vagina. his conclusions based on the interview quote the vietcong member was less directly addressed he stared into space and his expression was flat and he never reached out where he spotted. the only time he came alive when was telling of his exploits. as soon as this past he would lapse back into lethargic apathy
with the pattern i'm convinced was lifelong and not precipitated by imprisonment. just remind you this interview is going on in prison. slope was not interested in vietnamese politics any quiz to be spent about the parents, dreams and sex lives or lack thereof. he decided after the interviews that the problem with the vietnamese people was not the thousand years of foreign domination including french-- colonialism and contemporary american intervention, but the root of the problem was there troubled family structure. but it's back up a bit. there's a basic question here that i asked myself when i was going through these darpa files which is why the hell with the psychotherapist in vietnam and more importantly and relevance
to the book what does this have to do with darpa and why did darpa send this person there? this goes back to the broader question i asked before what is the role of science in the pentagon as opposed to other parts whether acting or industry and most importantly what are the implications of science conducting national security and should we care and i think we do. let's back up and talk about what darpa is. it was created in 1958 in response to spot next, the soviet unions launch the first artificial satellite that created the political panic somewhat akin to the 911 attacks in 2001 meaning that represented two things at the time in 1957 when the launch took place, first that the soviet union was ahead in the space race. second and perhaps most importantly the technology to launch a satellite was linked to
launching ballistic missiles, so the idea of the soviet union could launch a suit-- nuclear weapon attack really shatter the post world war ii area-- are. if you month later and 58 president dwight d eisenhower authorized the birth of our bed that advanced research project agency and it was at a time-- this predates the creation of nafta. on the satellite in space program would go into this agency this agency would do everything possible, throw bureaucracy to the wind. darpa did this quite successfully and under a year acre eventually to what it is today, which is a 3 billion-dollar a year agency. it still bears summing the traits in its early days with a lack of drucker's inability to move quickly to find new projects. unlike the national science foundation it doesn't need peer-reviewed.
it can move quickly. it doesn't have permanent employees. it has the ability unlike other parts of government to fail and hopefully to succeed as well. if the originator of sony technologies that have changed that a build of our daily lives including drones, weapons, driverless cars and you could argue and i think i agree that it's the most successful research agency ever created at least the most successful military research agency. it doesn't mean it doesn't have flaws and in writing a book about darpa i wasn't trying to count out how me projects succeed or fail, but have the agency got to where was and i think the presumption in a lot of darpa's history is that it
goes back to the space race, but the truth is darpa was only a space agency for about a year and a half before nasa was created and then the military put that-- took back its other space program. what i look at is what i think is the seminal period of darpa's experience and what made it what it is today which his involvement in vietnam and i came to the conclusion everything important we associate with darpa comes out of vietnam and more critically to the extent that how we prosecute our wars today with drones, self, computers is cosgrove and specifically darpa's experience in vietnam, our most failed war effort, so if you think about the way we wage our wars it should give us pause, but also goes the title of this book the "the imagineers of war" because that's what "the imagineers of war" was at its
height. thinking about how do we fight our wars today, how will we fight them tomorrow and how do we come up with solutions. it did not always work, but sometimes it did, so let's return for a minute to our psychotherapist in the vietnam. what was going on. his presence may sound ludicrous today, but it's part of a broader effort at the time to study the roots of insurgency from a scientific vantage point. pentagon officials were not all stupid and realized the war in vietnam was not going well they also realized that bombs alone could not solve that. they turn to researchers rather than physicists or engineer they thought maybe scientists can help us understand. darpa got involved in this
because it was about to be shut down. in 1959, 1960 it had lost its space work. but, they had a rather creative individual, a legendary intelligence operative and go dell was the original dimension are of war and said i think a nuclear confrontation with the soviet union however terrible is unlikely and what's more likely is the type of wars we will fight will be in places like southeast asia, so in 1961 bill good dell the deputy director got permission from president kennedy for a test senator in vietnam. they did everything from silent aircraft to chemical the affiliation and started sending anthropologists and social scientists. in 1961 darpa was assigned by a
pentagon and to run this program they hired a man named jc are lip wider. linklater went on to be that god father of the modern internet. in the queue or behavioral scientists what was going on which was the 1960s dharma was being flooded by independent researchers at suggesting ways to help scientist understand why creasing number of the enemies and which were siding with viet cong rather than us forces. my favorite solution that i found in archives was dated august, 1965 from general electric writing to darpa suggesting their company be given a continuing open-ended contract to apply its experience and technology to counterinsurgency of vietnam.
its first proposal was from what it called the mass polygraph and that concept was like modern witch dunking. the letter said consider the following scenario: a high-security central government anti- terror police contingent arrived by helicopter at a village. the villagers are assembled by their local chief so each village can see each other. it measures the heartbeat of all villagers simultaneously. imagine you are all hooked up to this mass polygraph lie detector so then the suspected member of the vietcong would be called up before the assembled villagers and the machine would record a response. in alleviating the fear any villager was the informant.
the process can be repeated as much as possible this gives you a sense that by early 1966 these programs and behavioral sciences were a mess and the vietnam work was a strange mix of technology with a smattering of social sciences in the pelvic-- the pentagon realize this, so they bring in a problem solver, a really smart guy, young aeronautical engineer. he was emerging member of the technocratic elite, very interested in operation research or the idea of applying mathematical principles to decide large-scale organizational challenges. he was an aeronautical engineer and fascinated by the social science. more importantly, he believed he could harbor the social sciences
meaning apply engineering to it and he believed people could be studied in their actions predicted the way engineers-- he came in and looked at the program and said there are no numbers here, no science. darpa had a prostitute on staff because she spoke five languages in vietnam. they had the portly nuclear war theorist and one report for darpa proposed building a moat around saigon. his anti- infiltration moat became so widely derided by the press that someone jokingly suggested they did, to work on it. they were also sort of a well-known brand study called the motivation and morale study. he took one look at it and said you are telling the air force what it wants to hear which is
that the bombing is not working. you began to cut off a lot of funding for these things he was pretty convinced were just telling the pentagon when it went to hear. the pentagon disapproved. so, the solution he thought he came up with was a company in cambridge. it was very well respected and well-known in the company rose to fame in the election john f. kennedy by predicting on a state-by-state basis results of an accuracy by 80%. harpers magazine had called its work on a people machine human behavior and a well-known professor called if the a-bomb of social sciences comparing it to the development of the atomic weapon. he really thought they could solve the problem.
it seem like a perfect solution and in fact it was to be darpa's biggest disaster in vietnam. these academics began showing up in 1966 and one of the first studies was the michael sloped psychotherapy study and we can laugh at the study and in fact some people did. there was a darpa official on the ground who wrote in a memo i find the slope report so deficient and it is to impair my >> but, on the other hand, a well-known pentagon scientist wrote the opposite. both the idea of such interview are brilliant. he called it a fascinating paper. over the time in vietnam conducted seven studies. i would like to say that it's like a therapy study, it wasn't. there was worse ones. psychological weapons in vietnam and under the guidance ran a a
study testing the weapons that included things like american-style chain letter that would be spread to trick into rallying. they found strange and thoughtei to use vietnamese faith by publishing distributing 5,000 copies of a booklet and by unfortunate coincidence the books were distributed and the prophesy did not foresee. several of the projects were even quite a bit of a failure like an attempt to use folk singers to spread progovernment messages. quote, inmobilize the folk singers. had enlisted vietnamese sourcers to sway villagers. it failed in a report without hint of irony, because the
sourcers did not say what they were supposed to say. failed for lack of control over the chosen sourcers. yeah, officials were not all that happy with this. there were, you know, he rapidly realized it wasn't working and he looked to end the contract. he was certainly a very honest sort of scientist and realizing he tried this experiment and it failed. in this book, years later he said it failed for administrative reasons and in the official declassified correspondence i found over 400 memos detailing the failure of just fraud and incompetence.e i ain't having any. i view as integrity of darpa. and what was clearly not followed through with since i found the memo over 40 years
later in the archives he asked, please, quote, burn this after reading. in 2012-2013 as i was working on the book i interviewed seamoorea in 1978 he had written a book which talked about the failure of pentagon-funded science in vietnam and he was suddenly being contacted by all of the pentagon officials who were interested in doing social science work in iraq andork in afghanistan and found we had done work in vietnam. who knew. i was interviewing sye and have an ongoing conversation about iraq and afghanistan because part of my warning was surprise, surprise looking at revised social science work that darpa and pentagon were funding in afghanistan and iraq.nt and looking -- one of the people
i was interviewing and how i ended up in the mit archives was i was interviewing mit professor funded by darpa who was looking at quote not people machine but what he called social physics or prediction of human behavior and it was sort of like, wow, decades later we are doing the same thick. you know, pool in vietnam had called it a people machine and mit professor called it sownt -e counterinsurgency. and i was really struck by the comparisons. i asked the failure because in his book he said it failed for administrative reasons.lm sye was the type of guy, heti didn't want to talk about personalities, what he viewed of the failure of overall effort. he comes to a very nuance conclusion. he said in social research on a
questions, fen nominal to principle appears to operate, the facts and means and measurement of affecting observation of phenomena being observed even if they began supporting the government view,l the researchers will e -- the population affect bid the government programs, subject of the research will become sensitized. he was 89 and dying of heart failure and final work was to update own memoir and help me with this book. he was sending me random notes from time in vietnam. one of the final emails said how is temple in the message line.
we went on a cycle and we got to a temple and inside spotted a vietnamese fortune teller and the general decided he wanted to have his fortune told and the foreign teller obliged and said he had been newly appoint today a new position which was true because he had gotten first star and the general was expecting a great event because the general was about to see his family in the first time in months. then the foreign teller said after the reason you are here in vietnam, it will be like scissors cutting water. what a mother and father louse simile at the time. not then how right he was. the month after he died. he finished updating memoir. republished for a generation ofj well-meaning pentagon officials and hopeful social scientist who is were cutting water with scissors in iraq and afghanistan. thank you.
[applause] >> i don't know how much time we have left but i certainly welcome any questions. please, is there a mic? okay. >> was the mass lie detector ever built? i can think of uses for today?in [laughter] >> , no i outline a lot of failures in the book but you know darpa -- it failed a lot and did so many things right and one of the heroic things it did was getting pressure at the time from the pentagon to look into polygraph and lie-detector technology and this file that ie founded in there was correspondence on what was available and wrote in a memo that none of these things work and a lot of history darpa good
advice being ignored. don't do polygraph, we should be studying psychological issues and not how to whole people information like a fortune teller. they made mistakes and they were trying hard. another amazing thing -- the archives, national archives, best use of government taxpayer money ever. you look at correspondence that officials were writing and darpa looked at improvised explosive devices.improvis we know the word now, they commissioned a report that said, don't spend a lot of money trying to counter these devices as a black hole. there's no good way to do it. you need to stop the underlyinge conflict and, you know, that report was sitting in the archives from the early 1970's, you know, years later we spent billions on an organization to counter roadside bombs and a lot of the good
advice sadly gets ignored.t yeah. any other questions? >> can you speak briefly about the origin of the internet and why that came to be? >> yeah, so the origins arehe fascinating and i don't want to get into it here but since we have time i will. there's two myths about arpanet which became the internet andd there's true in both of them. story number one is it was a command and control communication system in case of nuclear arm gomagedon and the second sort of myth story it had nothing to do with nuclear war.n
in reality like a lot of things is very complex. pentagon had given trro assignments to darpin and which was to look at everything, you know, brainwashing the idea that communists were brainwashing prisoners of war was a big concern at the time. was o second assignment was command and control. i spoke with official who became secretary of defense, still very much alive and i said what were you thinking when you gave darpa this command and control assignment. so what happened was that they have the two assignments that were sort of different, really quite different that they hired psychologist who specialize with an interesting computer to come
into darpa. he had worked on air defense computers after world war ii which basically computers used to be these exotic creatures that lived in laboratories and you would walk in and put in a punch card and spit out an answer. well, after world war ii, had consuls for the first time with operators and the computers helped the operators track the radar track of soviet bombers. seemed sort of obvious now. the idea that you sit in front of a computer and you use a device and a light pen to interact with a computer and you have multiple people doing it at the same time was quite revolutionary. he came into darpa and what he said he wasn't that interested in the social sciences, he was interested in computers, he focused his funding on this idea of personal computing, network computing, you have a meeting at
a marriott hotel by the pentagon to show people what the future of computers would be like. some day you'll be able to access recipes off a computer and it was and people like, what would want to do that. [laughter] >> there were so many things going on at the time. there was the cuban missile crisis which also prompted interest in the command and control of nuclear weapons. how do you control your forces, how do you pass information. so he was aware of all of this but he was, he had this vision. he said, yes, you command and control of nuclear weapons is important but i want to change the very way that people operate with machines. computers will become an extension of thought process. the very idea, i don't remember the restaurant name, i'm going to google it. way the google and computers extend our thought process, he foresaw in some ofwe the seminole writings back then and he just pushed it very far forward.us
so he was not a nuclear command and control system but the thinking behind it, the hiring of had to be with nuclear weapons and had to do with the cuban missile crisis and the fact that they hired psychologist had to do with brainwashing and psychology and all of the factors come together, but what made darpa so important in the role, the idea of the imagineers of war and broad assignments by the pentagon and hiring people with these visions. i'm going to change the entire way people interact with machines. out of that and out of vietnam war period when the agency was allowed today anything and everything, grew darpa and the internet. what i try to bring out in my book is that the price of w success is failure and the price of an important success like the internet is important failures
like counterinsurgency and agent orange. the area of darpa when theycouln could turn countries into human labs and they did it with social sciences and, darpa project that they would like to not talk about so much today. the idea of let's just see what chemical defoliation does and let's see about computer network and you have tremendous successes and then you have tremendous failures like counterinsurgency program. going back to the question i posed at the beginning, people t can have personal opinions about whether military-funded science is good or bad. i certainly have opinions on that but what i would rather focus on and people aren't probably going to change their opinion. i want people to understand the implications of military funded science and so the implications are is that military-funded science has been very successful in some areas like computers, l
artificial intelligence, like arpanet but the price is also important failures like counterinsurgency experiment which grew to be worldwide. they were going to open up an office in north africa. at one point there was a proposal to do counterinsurgency experiments in the united states. it was certainly global in its ambitions. so in looking at the legacy of darpa and successes, you also have to take account its failures. wait, we have a mic.we >> yes, what is the current budget of darpa, how many c employees does it have and where are its headquarters? i will start with that. >> darpa has a budget of 3 billion. it goes up and down. usually been tide to the overall defense budget and the overall defense budget as been going up and up and plateaued at one
point. $3billion a year and you can say that's 10% of the nasa budget. it's all discretionary. so nasa has projects that it hai to fulfill. darpa can move funding around in agile manner so that 3 billion is very powerful. one of the other myths of darpa that i don't talk so much because it gets to the bureaucrat and i don't know how much other people care, these employees are temporary, technical personnel. they come in for periods of two to five years, but the dirty secret of darpa is increasing they have contract personnel that stay on for decades. it's not like darpa only has 140, 160 people, it has an army of contractors who stay on for quite a long time and i asked one darpa director in the 1990's, he said, you know, when i was adarpa director i
tried to get account of how many contract personnel we had and no one could get me the number ands i'm the director. you have another part to that question. >> where are its headquarters? >> location is very interesting as well. when it was created in 1958, the pent again, few doors down from secretary of defense and that was the whole idea. it was the thing in 1958, newspapers headlines allegedly sort of a direct line to the secretary of defense or even to president eisenhower and it has over the years and this is whatt i chronical in the book, has been pushed further and further from the pentagon. it was actually in 1967 that darpa lost offices in ther pentagon and started retreat as i call it in northern virginia. i believe first into architect's building or maybe that was a second one and basically moved o now four times and each time it's further away from the
pentagon which is symbolic, it i matters because it's a reflection of where darpa has gone. engine of innovation and a model we should follow but also increasingly removed from the pent again's leadership, during vietnam war they were being hauled in congress and askedin opinion on war to talk about the programs. nobody looks -- i've gone to a lot of the darpa hearings, annual event and it is so marginal and marginal to the things that are going on in the wars that we fight today y and da tries to argue that is a good thing. where the agency that thinks about the future. that's how they see themselves today, but that was not the darpa of 1958 when they got america into space in less than a year. they developed a detection system that allowed president
kennedy to enter the arms control. even the arpanet, it wasn't science fiction, i mean, it was laying the groundwork quickly, so i worry sometimes that darpa, i mean, some of the crazy projects it was going to create killer electrons by launching nuclear weapons into the atmosphere to create a shield that would fry nuclear weapons, basically a piece of shield, so it had its share of crazy secrets. there were wild ideas. it was always part of darpa's heritage, but in some ways i think the wild ideas are now sort of more prevalent in what darpa sees itself as doing, i mean, driverless cars which started in the mid- to thousands had decades of research that
darpa funded. that's tremendous. i don't know quite what it does for the military, but for science it's a tremendous excess-- success. when i asked darpa officials when they challenge me, they argue with me about today. these are dedicated people coming they give up their academic careers, but that doesn't mean you can't be skeptical or critical and my problem with darpa today is an darpa, it's that the pentagon is not giving it big enough challenges to challenge. it's not a math-- asking it how to solve war it's asking it to do things on the margin. when you look at the wars we have been fighting an part of them is that war particularly the past 16 years is not something we can sort of evolved our way out of woodside said technology. it's a human problem, but at the
same time that's something darpa once did. i'm not advocated they should necessarily do that again, but it's such a tremendous resource for the country and to say we are just going to give it small problems to work on, what a disappointment. i think it should work on big problems, bubut the question is are you willing to allow it to have the next successes and are you willing to live with the big failures and that's a question for the white house as for the pentagon and i don't know what the answer to that is. it's quite interesting that the current administration that we know is sort of focused on other issues and there's an acting director of darpa right now. darpa has always been more than its director. ..
heather hired admiral of ronald reagan's antiterrorism at darpa and was called total awareness and the idea was that you can create centralized database of classified information. commercial data, transactional data, you put it all in one database and you're going to use pattern analysis to detect terrorist plots before they happen. well, in new york times op-ed came out calling this a big brother system and in concept, in some respects it was. congress moved in and canceled the program, sort of. got moved to the national security agency and became classified and the lesson of that -- we are now in 2003. i'm not defending that programbl
but again, if you want darpa to have big successes you have to let it risk the big failures and i worry today it doesn't have the mission, it doesn't have its lowway. going back to current administration, the interesting thing ant darpa first director wasn't a scientist person who s was actually a vp at general electric who was brought in, ray johnson, the only sort of non-technical person ever to lead darpa but it was he who started the saturn rocket program which went to nasa and took the apollo missions to the moon. he had some very good ideas. it is hard to guess will they appoint a new darpa director and who makes a good darpa director?
the ones who have been good, roy johnson, the first one was powerful in creating agency, and the mess of vietnam, hard to guess what makes a good darpa director, someone with a broader vision, beyond science and technology, i will think about the problems of warfare and how we solve that warfare. >> the big project, has darpa anticipated the russian hacking and misinformation campaigns all over the world. >> i don't think darpa
anticipated it, the irony is that the internet, the creation of darpa has led to this new way of warfare. it is part of the problem. that should be a program. that should be a problem darpa could tackle, something of that scale. i am sure darpa has little programs on the side but thinking of this as a major threat i don't see darpa doing that today. to tackle problems that are really changing warfare like that. is it connected -- [inaudible question] >> i think the national security agency, the malware we read so much about, the national security agency gets a lot of credit for that. is there one more quick
question? >> why did the united states not use atomic weapons in vietnam? >> it was considered. a darpa funded group looked at that question there were reasons that would be disastrous, we were not trying to win hearts and minds. officials were confused, we are trying to help this government and people hate us. dropping tactical nuclear weapons were looks at, they were not going to be militarily effective and would have been even worse for the war. thank you for comin [applause] >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> this weekend on book tv on c-span2.
today at noon eastern from the franklin eleanor presidential library and museum in high park, new york, the annual roosevelt reading festival features presentations about president roosevelt and politics, all this include steve toomey, countdown to pearl harbor. the story of a father and daughter in guilden age. fdr and the told about the partnership that defined a presidency and joseph and his book, his final battle, last months of franklin roosevelt. at 8:00 p.m. eastern a conversation with best-selling author. >> the books that i have published in the last couple of years are the same kind of odd characters by 84, 85-year-old guy that a 24, 25-year-old guy
was writing when i was that age. >> his books include the kingdom and the power, honor thy father and on to the sons. >> i want to write about unknown people. i wanted to write a little woman that fed pigeons in central park or about some doorman outside the plaza hotel and what he saw and what he didn't see. i wanted to write about sometimes what it was like to be a bus driver in machine hattan or clean subways at 4:00 o'clock in the morning. the obscure characters that people do not -- ordinary people do not recognize. >> for more of this weekend's schedule go to booktv.org. >> people asked us why did you choose certain people to be in the book?
one of the things that we have said as we have interviewed recently is the fact there are countless number of stories, so many women who we could have put in the book and so many reasons why we launched digital platform to highlight more stories. there's truly a visibility gap. one of the reasons we chose dona is because not only does she have the super compelling story about failure and then getting up and becoming incredibly successful but she's also a fashion designer, she's also a writer, she's a maker, she is really kind of the opposite of the stereotype that you would think of who works in technology and i love that. i think we both love that about her, is that she just -- she really kind of crushes the stereotype and that was really important to us as we were meeting all these different women from all different backgrounds from all over the country to see how creative and collaborative not only their jobs are but how they are in
their lives and a big goal for us was to try to choose people that we felt others out in our audience would hopefully feel a connection to in some way. and also to dispel again a lot of sort of the misconceptions about what it means to work and often times people assume that it's lonely, that it's cold, that it's not collaborative. these are the things that you hear from young girls when you ask them about it but what we found is so many women that we met that it was a complete opposite, they were super creative, they were artsie and cared about family and have incredibly multifaceted lives and jobs are very collaborative and that was a big point for us in terms of message that we we wanted to get out an hopes of maybe inspiring women to maybe think twice about going into these types of careers, to see the breath and the depth of the
kind of people who work in these jobs and how interesting they are. >> has anyone here seen the hbo show silicon valley? okay. it's pretty hilarious but it's very, very stereotype. there's a hacker house, a computer genius, coder guy, the tech company, so i saw a week called the women's start-up lab. a week at a hacker house with eight female founders, technology founders living in a hacker house and really interesting thing i learned about researching the book was that female entrepreneurs in tech don't look like richard hendricks, they don't act like the programmer type that you see on tv or hear about in the media, these women were from all over the country, women in --
one woman in particular is in santa fe, new mexico, two kids at home, this is the first time i've been able to actually breath and not have my kids all over me. she's starting a company called baby airs, she wants to make into what she calls the airbnb so when you're visiting parents and have all the strollers and cribs and all the toy toys to carry, you don't have to, you can go from one state to another and rent the equipment. the first time i could breath as you focus on my company with seven entrepreneurs. she spent the week work-shopping and training and building her pitch to go out and pitch investors for capital to scale her business. so i met carrie and spent the week with her and the other entrepreneurs and the other interesting about this program it was really building a network of women entrepreneurs, so
heather was talking about the loneliness and they were introduced to mentors and built her confidence and she got back home and her husband said, who are you, she also met myer, cofounder of mass.com, one of the advisers at the women's lab and she saw her vision, carrie, i want to partner with you, i want to make this into a billion dollar company and now myer is her cofounder and ceo and actually carrie is the cpo. the sisterhood of finding the people that are going to help you to not just scale your
business and find investment but to build that confidence that you can do it. you're not allen and you had this network of support. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> ready? >> welcome to the national press club. my name is -- let me make sure i use the mic, that would be nice. welcome to the national press club. my name is jeff ballou. i'm the 110th president. those who have not been to the national press club before, since 1908 the national press club has been ade