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Defense Acquisition Reform, 19602009: An Elusive Goal

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Technical Report

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Center of Military History Fort McNair United States

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Defense acquisition reform initiatives have been Department of Defense perennials over the past fifty years. Yet reforming the acquisition process remains a high priority each time a new administration comes into office. Many notable studies of defense acquisition with recommendations for changes have been published,and each has reached the same general findings with similar recommendations. However, despite the defense communitys intent to reform the acquisition process, the difficulty of the problem and the associated politics, combined with organizational dynamics that are resistant to change, have led to only minor improvements. The problems of schedule slippages, cost growth,and shortfalls in technical performance on defense acquisition programs have remained much the same throughout this period. Professor Foxs Defense Acquisition Reform, 19602009 An Elusive Goal, provides valuable historical analysis of the numerous attempts over the past fifty years to reform the defense acquisition process for major weapons systems. It identifies important long-term trends, insights, and observations that provide perspective and context to assist current defense decision makers, acquisition officials, and the acquisition schoolhouse. It is an important work on an important subject that continues to defy solution.

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