Magazine article National Defense

Critics of Defense Acquisition May Be Aiming at the Wrong Targets

Magazine article National Defense

Critics of Defense Acquisition May Be Aiming at the Wrong Targets

Article excerpt

The U.S. Army is the best equipped in the world. Yet the acquisition work force is continually vilified by the Defense Department's senior leadership, laments Col. John "Buck" Surdu, military deputy at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Communications-Electronics Center, or CERDEC.

"It's a little frustrating for folks who devoted their lives to delivering the best technology to our soldiers ... [These folks are being] universally decried as the enemy ... and constantly bashed by the people they're trying to serve," Surdu said.

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Much of the flak has been about the slow pace of the military procurement system. "I will tell the acquisition system is too slow in many cases," says Surdu. But the critics in this case are chasing the wrong suspects, he contends. "We typically want to beat up the program managers. But they are only part of the problem."

So who else should be blamed? According to Surdu, much of the fault lies with, the "requirements" writers who draw up the technical specifications for a new weapon system. …

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