The convoluted procedures by which the U.S. government purchases weapons and other military systems are rendered almost intelligible in a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.
The report introduces the defense acquisition structure, summarizes several recent analyses of that structure, and points towards some unfinished business.
“The unparalleled complexity of DOD’s defense acquisition structure lends itself to the continued emergence of many problematic issues,” the CRS report said.
“Simply put,” the House Armed Services Committee said last year, “the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition process is broken… The rising costs and lengthening schedules of major defense acquisition programs lead to more expensive platforms fielded in fewer numbers.”
A copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.
See “Defense Acquisition: Overview, Issues, and Options for Congress,” June 4, 2007.