The House and Senate Armed Services Committees are expected to approve a National Defense Authorization Act this month that would restore weapons-purchasing authority to the military services. That authority has been eroded by 30 years of acquisition reform that centralized decision-making in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Now House-Senate conferees, led by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator John McCain, look poised to reverse the trend. A key reason why doing so makes sense is the chronic overreach of Pentagon bureaucrats in dictating requirements, costs and schedules to the services that must execute programs. An office that was supposed to professionalize the purchase of weapons has become a major impediment to progress, making it easier for America’s enemies to close the gap in military technology. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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