Do we need a better defense acquisition system to exploit the fruits of R&D and deliver new capabilities? While the often mouthed rhetoric says “yes” actions by leadership send the opposite message “NO!” The piece parts of what can easily be understood to be an alternative acquisition system for R&D exists! These authorities, that provide contract flexibility and much more, permit the DoD to approach the business of R&D in different ways, even radically different ways. Though Congress pinned the responsibility on DoD leadership to ensure the workforce receives adequate training and education to make the best use of these authorities, years later that remains largely unsupported, perhaps even opposed.
DoD: The system is terrible. We need an alternative to do all these things we need to do.
Congress: Okay. You got it. Make sure you educate and support the workforce.
DoD: Maybe the current system isn’t so bad after all.
Congress, Warfighter, Taxpayer, Industry: Seriously?!
Defenders of the status quo, old think are a domineering force. But maybe, just maybe, those of us who advocate for doing things differently and supporting the workforce to do so are not the crazy ones after-all.