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Project on Government Oversight

Pentagon Reform Briefing Papers

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February 23, 2009

Last Thursday, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) co-sponsored a book discussion with several of the authors of America's Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress.  The authors, who have over a century's worth of combined knowledge on waste, fraud, and abuse at the Pentagon, discussed the ongoing challenges in creating an effective and accountable national defense.

POGO's Danielle Brian moderated a discussion with the following authors:

  • Winslow Wheeler, who spent 30 years working for Republican and Democratic senators and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on defense budget issues.  Mr. Wheeler asked the audience to consider Pentagon Reform: If Not Now, When? If Not This Crowd, Who?
  • Thomas Christie, who has five decades of experience in defense acquisition positions involving weapons testing and program evaluation.  Mr. Christie emphasized the importance of making the current system work, because the numerous "acquisition reform" efforts have resulted in major programs taking 20 to 30 years to deliver less capability (among other issues).
  • Pierre M. Sprey, who worked with a small number of brilliant colleagues to design and procure some of the most successful weapons in Pentagon history.  Mr. Sprey discussed Reversing the Decay of American Air Power.

The book discussion generated a great deal of interest among defense experts and journalists and was covered in last week's Air Force Times.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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