Getting Back Credibility

NRO director Bruce Carlson refuses to ask the Defense Department or the Air Force for money to bail out broken space programs. Years ago, as the Air Force programmer, he said, he advocated raiding NRO coffers because their programs never delivered on schedule. Now in the NRO chair, “I can’t do much about the sins of the past,” Carlson said, but he’s putting an end to the “nonsense” of perpetually slipping projects. “We’re going to get that credibility back,” Carlson said. He’s on his way: Although one of his inherited projects is “700 percent over schedule and 300 percent over cost,” he claimed that “nine and a half out of 10” NRO programs are on schedule and budget.