Not much, says a retired Pentagon official. Now, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England (at podium) wants another comprehensive review of the process. But the author claims previous studies have produced sound acquisition directives and guidelines that have yet to be followed properly.
Department of Defense leaders are painfully aware of the fiascoes that continue to plague the acquisition of weapon systems. "Something's wrong with the system," secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently told Congress. Further evidence of that concern came in a 7 June 2005 memorandum from then-acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England. Addressed to senior Pentagon leadership, it directed a thorough assessment of the process "to consider every aspect of acquisition, including requirements, organization, legal foundations, decision methodology, oversight, checks and balances-every aspect." In kicking off the next in a long series of studies, secretary England stated: "Many programs continue to increase in cost and schedule even after multiple studies and recommendations that span the past 15 years."