Enforcement Zone

The Defense Department isn’t eager to cancel weapon systems in upcoming budget cuts, but will, said Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s No. 2 acquisition executive, Wednesday. He told defense writers in Washington, D.C., that canceling a program, especially when it’s reached low-rate production, is “a failure.” It means that all of the dollars invested to that point are “thrown away,” because in most cases, “you have to start over” to fill the requirement, said Kendall. Pentagon overseers have already killed most of the “low-hanging fruit” of troubled or marginally necessary programs, he said. “We’ve worked hard to get rid of the things we could live without,” he explained. Those terminated projects should have been axed long before they actually were, said Kendall. “We should be saying ‘no’ earlier in the process,” and only allow programs to continue that DOD can afford down the road, he continued. “It’s all about enforcement” of discipline and requirements, Kendall asserted.