Defense News quotes M.A. and George Lund Fellow for Emerging Defense Challenges Steven Grundman on a new push by Senator John McCain to increase the armed services’ authorities to manage major weapon programs, potentially weakening the power of the Pentagon’s top acquisition office:

Steve Grundman, principal of Grundman Advisory and Lund Fellow at the Atlantic Council, noted there are other benefits to such a shift, even if it costs AT&L some responsibility.

“The work of undersecretary of acquisition, technology and logistics (AT&L) ultimately involves bringing three things into coherence: requirements, system performance, and cost and budgets,” Grundman explained, adding that the service chiefs are perfectly positioned to help balance those three aspects. “Those chiefs could help balance those three imperatives and end up being an ally of the acquisition executives.

“This would almost certainly diminish the nominal and statutory authority of AT&L, not to mention the service acquisition executives,” he noted. “But there is at least the promise of getting something good in return for the tradeoff, because that work is very difficult and even the undersecretary of AT&L could use some powerful players like the service chiefs to achieve that coherence.”

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