Join Strategic Institute in discussing why the defense acquisition system for R&D and delivering new capabilities is persistently stuck in first gear and getting passed by on the rapid 21st century highway.
The DoD once had a functional acquisition system capable of expediency and creativity, i.e. the ICBM was delivered in 5 years, NASA using a similar system went the Moon in less than a decade, and the nuclear bomb was produced just six years after splitting the atom (totally new technologies). Today the system requires tremendous resources and legions of industry specialists and insiders who spend years learning the ins-and-outs of a system that defines – arcane. Now it takes nearly a quarter century just to deliver the next-gen of something. This, despite many advances in efficiency enhancing technologies in the intervening years (i.e. computing, communications, simulations etc.). The bureaucracy and special interests have had their way with the defense acquisition system; it just grew to become the albatross it is today.
Hard fought for flexible acquisition authorities allowing the government to explore and operate at a much high caliber have been expanded, codified, and even mandated, but they are being ignored or worse. DoD’s inefficiencies and problems are strictly an inside job, the change many say they wish to see needs to be embodied and emboldened by good leadership.