Why hasn’t the Army’s regular acquisition process produced anything in decades?

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Media Outlet: Foreign Policy

At the Future of War (FoW) conference, one of General Odierno’s comments referenced the problem of ‘utopia requirements’ in our Defense Acquisitions process. He defined ‘utopia requirements’ as basically overzealous requirements that are not feasible within current technology readiness levels. In the past one might have called these ‘gold-plated’ requirements – the kind that exceeds the warfighter ‘needs’ in favor of the ‘wants.’ GEN Odierno further described this as the primary driver of our inability to get systems fielded.  

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Thomas Ricks is an ASU Future of War senior fellow at New America  He also is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the blog “The Best Defense.”