In the past 5 years, DOD has doubled its planned investments in weapons systems, but this huge increase has not been accompanied by more stability, better outcomes, or more buying power for the acquisition dollar. Rather than showing appreciable improvement, programs are experiencing recurring problems with cost overruns, missed deadlines, and performance shortfalls. GAO was asked to testify on ways to obtain a better return on DOD's weapons systems investments. This testimony identifies the following steps as needed to provide a better foundation for executing weapon programs: (1) developing a DOD-wide investment strategy that prioritizes programs based on realistic and credible threat-based customer needs for today and tomorrow, (2) enforcing existing policies on individual acquisitions and adhering to practices that assure new programs are executable, and (3) making it clear who is responsible for what and holding people accountable when these responsibilities are not fulfilled. Past GAO reports have made similar recommendations.
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