Defense procurement by grudge

It appears that a primary criterion for Department of Defense procurement decisions affecting the safety of American troops is … Donald Trump’s grudges.

The White House has instructed newly installed Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper to reexamine the awarding of the military’s massive cloud-computing contract because of concerns that the deal would go to Amazon, officials close to the decision-making process said.

The 11th-hour Oval Office intervention comes just weeks before the winning bid was expected to be announced and has now left a major military priority up in the air, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door process freely.

[ … ]

Oracle has lobbied Trump aggressively on the matter, hoping to appeal to his animosity toward Amazon as well as former defense secretary Jim Mattis, who angered the president when he resigned last year over the administration’s foreign policy decisions. Oracle Executive Vice President Ken Glueck, who runs the company’s policy shop in Washington, said he created a colorful flow chart labeled “A Conspiracy To Create A Ten Year DoD Cloud Monopoly” that portrayed connections among Amazon executives, Mattis and officials from the Obama administration.

[ … ]

“I’m getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon. … They’re saying it wasn’t competitively bid,” Trump said in a July 18 press gaggle. “Some of the greatest companies in the world are complaining about it, having to do with Amazon and the Department of Defense, and I will be asking them to look at it very closely to see what’s going on.”

Would Donald Trump force the American military to make-do with second-rate goods in order to settle a score? Sure; I don’t have the slightest difficulty imagining that. But why aren’t stringently, resolutely, pro-military Republicans — What has happened to you, Lindsey Graham? — marching on the White House with pitchforks?

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