The Defense Department’s Enduring Contributions to Global Health
June 28, 2011
In the spring of 2010, CSIS launched a year-long, independent examination of the U.S. Army and Navy overseas medical research laboratories. The impetus was an awareness that despite the laboratories’ impressive scientific accomplishments and contributions to U.S. national interests and global health, they are not well understood outside of research circles and consequently find themselves undervalued in today’s environment of fiscal austerity. They stand at the intersection of health and security, a topic of increased importance to U.S. approaches to global health.
The CSIS project aimed to assess the laboratories’ contributions and achievements; examine the factors that constrain their performance; and propose reforms that will put them on the best course to continued success. It included considerable background research, three formal meetings of experts, travel to five overseas laboratories, and interviews with dozens of laboratory researchers and collaborators. This report lays out the project’s research, conclusions, and recommendations.