Editor's Note: Don’t miss For The Record: Armed and Unaccountable Wednesday at 8pm ET only on TheBlaze. Not a subscriber? Start your 14-day free trial HERE.
Tonight, TheBlaze’s investigative news magazine For the Record exposes how the United States Army has been pumping billions of dollars into underperforming intelligence technology – directly contributing to the death of U.S. soldiers. Laurie Dhue and the team investigate how government contracts and personal relationships have taken precedence over saving lives and fiscal responsibility. Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) contributed to the For The Record report, and he joined Glenn on radio this morning to discuss some of what tonight’s episode uncovers.
To begin, Glenn asked Hunter to explain the crux of the story.
“At the core, it's this: The Army bureaucracy and the acquisitions program are kind of like the self-licking ice cream cone. They like to keep themselves in business, whether or not they have the better product. They would not allow the troops on the ground, the soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan to get the type of software they needed to be able to find IEDs, track down the networks, find the bad guys, and kill them,” Hunter said. “They would not let them buy the off-the-shelf software that our intelligence agencies use, Special Forces use. They made them use this $1 billion system that still doesn't work, that the Army is building for itself. That's basically the story, and you had lives lost because of that."
While the Army continues to dump money into its Distributed Common Ground System Army (DGGSA), it has denied the use of a private-sector software analysis tool called Palantir, which is developed in California’s Silicon Valley.
“All the Silicon Valley companies, they work big data,” Hunter explained. “That's big right now and worth billions of dollars in the private sector internationally. Working with big data and coming up with ways to analyze it, a lot of companies do that. That's what the Army is trying to recreate, but they can't recreate what the free market does for itself.”
Hunter explained that the soldiers on the ground have asked for the Palantir technology time and time again because they have seen it work, but bureaucracy has gotten in the way.
“What happens is, within DOD, they keep the self-licking ice cream cone going,” he said. “They like to spend money on their own things that don't work… as opposed to saying this works.”
Glenn couldn’t help but wonder if there is anything that can be done to stop the senseless loss of life that has occurred as a result of this Army policy.
“Let me ask you this,” Glenn said. “Do you think there's a chance of ever beating this?”
“That's one reason I'm in Congress. You have to stay vigilant and stop the funding for this type of stuff… This is just one example. There are lots of things like this. If you dig really, really deep, you will find thousands of these – hundreds of billions of dollars wasted over the last decade of war fighting… You have to stop it,” Hunter concluded. “And we try to fix the military acquisition system and procurement system every year. The Department of Defense is huge… They have more acquisition specialists than they have active duty Army soldiers. There's hundreds of thousands of DOD civilians that handle acquisitions. So that's it. We're trying to cut funding. That's how you beat it. That's what I can do.”
Don’t miss For The Record: Armed and Unaccountable Wednesday at 8pm ET only on TheBlaze. Not a subscriber? Start your 14-day free trial HERE.