Once upon a time there was the Packard Commission, convened during the Reagan Administration to find fixes for the Pentagon’s terrible record in buying weapons. They took too long, cost too much and often didn’t do what they were supposed to do. Since then, things have only gotten worse: weapons continue to cost too much, take too long and often don’t do what they are supposed to do.

The Packard Commission, which produced its report in 1986, called for creation of an acquisition czar and recommended an array of other changes to what it then said was not a “rational system” for buying and building America’s weapons. Frank Kendall, who occupies the position of czar (known formally as the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics) today announced the Obama Administration’s second iteration of a rash of reforms he hopes and expects will begin to fix things. Keep reading →

The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate, killing US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and four others, apparently maintained web, cell and radio silence before they acted, giving the US no hint an attack was imminent.

“If people do not emit or discuss their behavior, it’s hard to find out what they are going to do,” Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper said at the huge annual conference of intelligence professionals called Geoint. The U.S., he made clear, did not have tactical warning of the attacks. He noted that there were anti-American protests in 54 countries when the attacks occurred, clearly implying the intelligence community had its hands full that day. Keep reading →

On Capitol Hill, your committee is only as powerful as what it oversees. And with cybersecurity one of the biggest issues going nowadays, lawmakers are falling all over themselves to get a piece of that pie.

Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) made his play during today’s confirmation hearing for DoD’s new global strategic affairs chief Madelyn Creedon (as reported initially on Breaking Defense. Keep reading →