Susanna Blume and Mikhail Grinberg, senior fellows at the Center for a New American Security, have said that policymakers should look into the differences between acquisition strategies used at military branches to help inform future defense buying reform efforts.
They wrote in a joint commentary for Defense News published Friday that disparate approaches could affect coordination between the services, with each branch potentially interpreting congressionally mandated procurement authorities differently.
According to Blume and Grinberg, the U.S. Army has used such authorities by establishing a Futures Command to focus on six modernization priorities. The Air Force uses other transaction authorities while the Navy works to improve contracting performance in line with mission priorities, the two CNAS fellows added.
They noted that the use of multiple procurement approaches conveys different information to vendors.
"Already the defense industry—in certain segments, at least—feels taxed by the pace and variety of change."
"Near-term success will likely require more flexibility from both traditional and nontraditional defense industry partners.”
Blume serves as director of CNAS’ defense program and Grinberg is a principal at consulting firm Renaissance Strategic Advisors.