Hindsight Is 20/20

By John Liang / March 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Hindsight is a wonderful thing when it comes to multibillion-dollar defense programs that should have been canceled a long time ago, according to Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall.

"We need to make those judgments up front," Kendall said during a talk he gave this afternoon at a Credit Suisse conference. "We need to constrain our requirements by what we have available . . . and then derive programs that way, and then manage them."

Kendall used the Marine Corps' recently canceled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program as an example:

We should have recognized a decade ago that we were not going to be able to afford it. Instead we spent 10 or 15 years -- more than 15 years, I remember seeing a prototype of the EFV . . . in 1993. We should have realized back then that the Marine Corps was not going to be able to afford that platform. But we went on with it anyway. And we have a tendency to stretch these things out forever and not stop [and look at the program's eventual cost].