To Drain the Defense Acquisition Swamp, First Get Rid of the Water

An interesting fact: the people who break the rules of Defense Acquisition – FOGO, Acquisition officers (uniformed and career civil servants), and the contractors who advise them – don’t pay one thin dime. We do. We always do.

The problems are essentially structural: 1) a defense contractor buys congresscritters; 2) the impermanence of the professional acquisition staff (here primarily uniformed, which has authority over much of the civil service); and, 3) just how absolutely labyrithine the laws, rules and regulations are, which can defeat any well-meaning, honorable citizen doing their duty.

Parties and ideologies don’t matter when it comes to dollars, laundered through contributions to re-election funds, or more indirectly through hiring and paying constituents who contribute cash and votes. Uniformed officers don’t stay on a program for the 3-5 years it takes to bring an information system, or any other system, from concept to deployment. That’s left to the civil servants and the contractors who support them. For full disclosure, I used to support the Army, Air Force and two Combatant Commands as a contractor.

Know how to drain a swamp? First, remove the water. Or in DC’s case, the cash. But in news of other miracles…

Today’s three articles from C4ISRNet.com via Defensenews.com point to the inevitable result of the structural problems of system and software development. As a taxpayer, until the water is removed from the swamp, best expect to get soaked. Again.

Über DaveO

Retired soldier, micro-farmer, raconteur and pet owner from the great state of Oklahoma. Wandered in as a frequent commenter and have been enjoying blogging ever since.
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