Lawmaker condemns U of I effort to end STEM work with defense contractors

The graduate student employee union at the University of Illinois is urging STEM workers to “refuse employment” in military and defense industries in order to undermine the “military-industrial complex.”

The union issued a press release last Friday endorsing the “STEM Strikes the War Machine” campaign, which also demands that 90% of all military spending be reallocated to “social justice” efforts around the world.

Wednesday, an Illinois lawmaker that is a West Point graduate responded to the employee union’s demands saying they are “foolish.”(yes, that’s right “she”) wrote in an op-ed published HERE:

A great many things influence the outcome of battles. Leadership being one of the most important factors. But technological advancements have forced major changes in tactics and strategy.

In the 21st century, our soldiers, airmen, and sailors operate very advanced machines that travel far below the earth’s surface along the ocean floor and as far as 50,000 feet above the earth, all while still carrying out the basic military tasks of move, shoot and communicate. While wartime missions can be deadly, even the training in peacetime is dangerous. It is important that the men and women serving our country are have the equipment necessary to carry out any mission. Their lives are on the line – to protect our lives.

It was perhaps for that very reason that in FY17, the Department of Defense awarded nearly $60 million to the University of Illinois system for research, $47 million to the Urbana-Champaign campus alone.

It is deeply concerning that a GEO is pushing such a reckless policy, and that it has gone unchecked by the University.

Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, IL

Read the rest of it HERE.