The Mobility Slight of Hand

The Government Accountability Office’s final report on the Pentagon’s 2005 Mobility Capabilities Study leaves little doubt that defense analysts outside the five-sided building think the MCS was a sham. Confirming an initial assessment made last spring, GAO says that DOD deviated from “relevant generally accepted research standards” giving rise to questions as to how the “analyses done for the study support DOD’s conclusions.” DOD concluded, for instance, that 180 C-17 airlifters would suffice. Various analysts (and even the Army unofficially) have questioned that outcome for months. Loren Thompson, for one, recently said that DOD simply shifted the data to get the answers it wanted. Now, GAO sheds more light on the issue, by showing that the “model year” selected by DOD does not in fact represent the “most likely” transportation demand year, rather it is the least demanding.