$40 Billion Tanker Contract Grounded
Unnecessary and extraordinarily expensive, the once-green-lit controversial KC-X midair refueling tanker program has stalled, according to the Pentagon. Any movement on the $40 billion contract to purchase new Air Force tankers will have to wait for the next U.S. administration, a clear sign that military-industrial complex spending is an institutional, rather than administrative, problem.
For a full discussion on this tanker deal and other military-industrial complex issues, check out Robert Scheer’s new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”
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The Washington Post:
The Pentagon said it plans to push back the decision to award a $40 billion contract to build new aerial refueling tankers until the next administration — a move that is a significant shift from its earlier decision to move at lightning speed to pick a new winner by the end of the year.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he and other Pentagon officials realized the award could not be made by the end of the year as he had previously wanted. “Over the past seven years the process has become enormously complex and emotional — in no small part because of mistakes and missteps along the way by the Department of Defense,” Gates said in his opening statement this morning before the House Armed Services Committee. “It is my judgment that in the time remaining to us, we can no longer complete a competition that would be viewed as fair and objective in this highly charged environment.”
He said having a “cooling-off period will allow the next administration to review objectively the military requirements and craft a new acquisition strategy for the KC-X.”
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