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Many of the problems that contribute to poor cost and schedule outcomes are systemic to the way that the acquisition process is organized and managed in the Department of Defense. In this paper, the authors discuss a few of these problems and how they may be contributing to inefficiency and unrealistic expectations. The paper includes recommendations regarding the role of the Service Chiefs in the acquisition process, the role of the Combatant Commands in the requirements process, the impact of joint duty on the acquisition process, and the growing emphasis on management processes at the expense of workforce initiative.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). Th e research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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