People who form their ideas about the U.S. military based on Hollywood movies might get the impression that cutting-edge technology is standard in the fighting forces. In fact, the opposite is true. At nuclear sites around the country, technicians still use floppy disks. Only this summer is the U.S. Navy expected to upgrade from Windows XP, an operating system long since scrubbed from home computers. The new F-35 stealth fighter jet, touted as the most sophisticated in the world, was first conceived of in the 1990s. So when the Defense Department announced last year that it wanted to partner with Silicon Valley to build a massive cloud storage unit where it could securely warehouse and categorize the secret data it collects from intelligence agencies and the military, some experts scoffed. Companies such as Amazon and Google are defined by an ethos of agility and innovation. The Pentagon, by contrast, is known to be clunky and risk averse. Just getting a contract through the department’s famously byzantine procurement process would require a kind of bureaucratic wrangling that a Jeff Bezos or a Tim Cook would find abhorrent.