McCain Targets Acquisition Reform:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has introduced new legislation—the Defense Acquisition Reform Act of 2007 (S. 32)—which he hopes will “highlight the scope and urgent need for meaningful reform” in Pentagon acquisition of major weapons. In his floor statement on the measure, McCain declares that despite past lessons—and he cites some recent ones, including the Navy’s Littoral Combat Systems and the Air Force’s combat search and rescue vehicle replacement program—the department’s acquisition process “continues to be dysfunctional.” He says the current “ineffective and inefficient” system drives up costs and cites the F-22A Raptor as a “prime example” because the Air Force’s original requirement called for 781 fighters, but “now we can only afford 183.” The Senator says that his legislation, introduced May 22, would address “head-on” the Pentagon’s runaway requirements process, which he cites as one of the acquisition process’s major failings because it adds unneeded capabilities and sometimes drops ones needed by combatant commanders. McCain notes that he based his legislation on the past three years’ worth of the “best of the best” reform ideas with the “broadest consensus,” including the Kadish Report and Section 804 Report.