The objective of the QuEST program is to identify and address the most important outstanding challenges and opportunities, both experimental and theoretical, and resolve or exploit them to enable revolutionary advances in the field of quantum information science and technology.
It shouldn't be too much of a surprised that DARPA is interested in the field. I think what is noteworthy is that the budget has been steadily increasing: 4.4 million in FY2008, 9.4 in FY2009, 14.1 in FY2010. (See page 26 here for the numbers.) I recognize that this isn't much money as far as government spending is concerned, but this is just what is publicized by DARPA. Given the potential of quantum computers, I wouldn't be at all shocked if there is more work going on behind closed doors. (Someone asked me about this during my dissertation defense.)