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Rapid Fire April 3, 2012: Cutting Order Size Is Self-Inflicted Wound

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* Daniel Goure at the Lexington Institute challenges the value of the “should cost” procurement methodology pushed by Undersecretary of Defense Ashton Carter. He calls it “new” but finds it “rather traditional in nature”. Well, “should cost” looks traditional indeed because it is not new. That methodology first came up decades ago as shows this Air University Review article from 1972. The Defense Acquisition University has an analysis of the relevant literature from the 70s and 80s. * The Heritage Foundation makes a good point on Nunn-McCurdy cost breaches: “The services should do everything possible to avoid the stigma of breach – no easy task today when breaches can be the result of dramatically cutting purchases (driving up per unit cost) as budgets are slashed rather than mismanagement of the program.” [Emphasis ours]. Case in point: the E-2D Hawkeye. * The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget looks at how the GAO and the CBO differ on their long term fiscal outlook. This may seem “big picture” material of no immediate application, but defense budgets are not happening in a vacuum and will be increasingly constrained by larger fiscal and demographic constraints, in the US as elsewhere. * The Sunlight […]

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