US Government Procurement: A Technology Brake?

September 27, 2021

I read “Study: Pentagon Reliance on Contractors Hurt US in 9/11 Wars.” I was not certain how to process the story. Was it a blockbuster exposé or was it another recycled Hummer tire?

The write up states:

Up to half of the $14 trillion spent by the Pentagon since 9/11 went to for-profit defense contractors, a study released Monday found. It’s the latest work to argue the U.S. reliance on private corporations for war-zone duties that used to be done by troops contributed to mission failure in Afghanistan. In the post-9/11 wars, U.S. corporations contracted by the Defense Department not only handled war-zone logistics like running fuel convoys and staffing chow lines but performed mission-crucial work like training and equipping Afghan security forces — security forces that collapsed last month as the Taliban swept the country.

Has the enshrinement of procurement methodology created the situation? Are there other forces at work; for example, people complain about meetings. Nevertheless, the work of some government professionals is meetings.

Who does the work?

Maybe contractors? Interns? People hired on Fiverr?

The write up states:

And up to a third of the Pentagon contracts went to just five weapons suppliers. Last fiscal year, for example, the money Lockheed Martin alone got from Pentagon contracts was one and a half times the entire budgets of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to the study.

Are the expenditures audited? Does anyone know where the money goes?

The write up wraps up with this statement:

Relying less on private contractors, and more on the U.S. military as in past wars, might have given the U.S. better chances of victory in Afghanistan…

Interesting.

Stephen E Arnold, September 27, 2021

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