Accession Number : ADA621113


Title :   Politics and Procurement: The Clast Between Local Interest and Strategic Imperative in U.S. Defense Acquisition


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES


Personal Author(s) : Davis, Brian R


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a621113.pdf


Report Date : Jun 2014


Pagination or Media Count : 88


Abstract : This study analyzes the military acquisition process to determine if service parochialism or local politics prevents the procurement of the necessary military capabilities required for safeguarding national defense and securing national interests. First, the author introduces the highly systematic acquisition process and expands upon the multiple layers of decision-making inherent within the system. By highlighting its joint nature and arduous vetting process, the author concludes that the procurement system is designed to expunge service parochialism from the process. Next, the writer explores the budgetary approval authority given to Congress and the three most cited reasons for altering federal programs requested by the DoD and the Executive branch. Each reason is analyzed utilizing an historical case study. The first case examines earmarks awarded to Digital Fusion Inc. under the guise of expanding future markets. The second case study examines the forced procurement of Abrams tanks and the national security argument. Finally, the industrial-base argument is scrutinized through the procurement of the Seawolf class submarine. The results of this process show that all three arguments are hollow and are used to distract Americans from the real issue: Congressmen and Senators utilizing the military procurement process as an economic stimulus for their districts. This in turn, has significant adverse consequences for the long-term strategic defense of the nation. Fortunately, the problem is one of systemic design and not of moral turpitude of elected officials. The author concludes that legislators are forced to choose between their local obligations and national responsibilities, and the acquisition system needs to be altered to remove such decisions. The final section of the study includes several recommendations for such an alteration.


Descriptors :   *CONGRESS , *MILITARY PROCUREMENT , CASE STUDIES , DECISION MAKING , MILITARY CAPABILITIES , STRATEGY , THESES


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE