Broken Down

By Marjorie Censer / December 10, 2008 at 5:00 AM

The Pentagon has not been able to rapidly adapt to a “war footing,” according to the Center for Public Integrity's new large-scale assessment of the Bush administration, titled “Broken Government.”

The nonpartisan organization's project is a digital report intended to provide “a comprehensive assessment of executive branch failures over the course of the Bush presidency.” It looks beyond the Defense Department to areas including education, health care, financial management and the environment, among many others.

In the Defense Department section, the Center for Public Integrity says the department “has often been unresponsive or slow to react to the needs of soldiers and Marines on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the United States when they return.”

In particular, it notes the Pentagon's initially slow procurement of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, something that’s in the news this week, again. has reported extensively on DOD efforts to adapt its acquisition efforts to meet soldier requirements. Most recently, we wrote about Defense Secretary Robert Gates' call for changes to the Pentagon's acquisition system to make it more responsive to the needs of soldiers in theater.

The CPI report singles out Gates, who will stay on under President-elect Barack Obama, for praise.

“Gates made accountability and responsiveness to the current conflicts his signature,” the online project says. “For example, he made MRAP procurement the number one DOD acquisition priority.”