WASHINGTON — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain on Thursday blamed the Pentagon’s struggles to field new weapon systems on “years of mistakes and wasted resources.”
The Arizona Republican also provided a snapshot into his thinking about the kinds of new weapons he believes the Defense Department should be pursuing.
“We need to make the necessary investments now in next-generation technologies that can enable us to outpace our adversaries,” McCain said.
“Those include cyber and space control capabilities, directed energy weapons, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, and our future power projection capabilities, especially the future of the aircraft carrier and the carrier air wing,” he said. “I intend to be a champion for these kinds of new technologies.”
McCain long has been a leading critic of the Defense Department’s purchasing system. And now his perch atop the Armed Services Committee gives him an opportunity to reform it.
McCain told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that he and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, are “working closely” on Pentagon acquisition reform. For his part, Thornberry this week introduced a bill with a list of proposals.
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