Today at RealClearDefense, I have a piece on reforming the Pentagon through inter-service competition. The military services are strong organizations, with rich histories. Competition among them can help address problems such as waste and weapons programs that experience consistent cost overruns and scheduling delays. It can help the civilian defense officials exercise oversight. And it creates a market-like dynamic that can help spur innovation. Moreover, competing services will offer alternative perspectives for strategic planning that are absent in the current system.
From the introduction:
During his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter offered a small window into his plans to fix the Pentagon’s much maligned acquisition system. Responding to a question, he declared his intention to “reintroduce the role of the customer” by giving the chiefs of the military services greater oversight in the acquisition process. Fine, but if Carter really wishes to use the services to fix what currently ails the Department of Defense, he should reintroduce their roles as competitors.
The entire thing can be read here.