WASHINGTON: The top question on defense lawmakers’ minds right now is: “Can we trust you with the people’s money?” And no large military organization has a worse record in that respect than the US Army, with its unhappy track record of canceled programs and wasted billions dating to before 9/11.
It’s such a sensitive and high-stakes question that, when I started to ask Army SecretaryJohn McHugh about his service’s uphill battle to fix procurement, the normally mild-manned McHugh cut me off mid-question to deliver an impassioned defense.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” McHugh interrupted. “I’m very mindful of the spotty history of the United States Army on acquisition programs, but I do think, in fairness, we’ve got to say much of it is just that: history,” he said at a Defense Writers’ Group breakfast. “If you look at…current programs such as JLTV and AMPV that are on time, on budget, we’re doing much better.”