Procurement: May 11, 2002


Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is pushing for reforms, and one of his key targets is the operations and maintenance (O&M) budget. Pentagon officials are studying major weapon systems and vehicles and have noted that the military puts up with chronic problems with systems that break too often, burn too much fuel, and are too hard to maintain, things that individual consumers would never put up with in their private lives. One analyst noted that the US moved around in Afghanistan in helicopters and armored vehicles that burned fuel by the ton, while the Taliban moved around in Toyota pickups which got great gas mileage. Many major corporations spend more money trying to reduce their fuel bills than the Pentagon does.--Stephen V Cole


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