In our American system, government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and various Department of Defense (DoD)-related research offices [i.e., Army, Navy, Air Force, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency)] are some of the major sources of support. These research agencies are basically independent of each other and are even in some friendly competition. In my view, this helps to keep American science vibrant, highly competitive, and active. In most other countries there is generally a single central research support agency.
George A. Olah, A Life of Magic Chemistry : Autobiographical Reﬂections of a Nobel Prize Winner, Wiley-Interscience, 2001, p.228.
Department of Defense (the government department in the US that is responsible for defence) [OALD]