Budget Gap

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Amazing first item (click on it to enlarge) atop the Pentagon’s Monday contract list. First of all, you can’t figure out just what it is we’re buying, but nothing new there:

…an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, multiple award contract for engineering and prototyping integration, software integration, and technical support services required to define, fabricate/prototype, inspect, test, evaluate, and deliver integrated prototype systems, or other equipment, for installation in strategic and tactical vehicles, and life cycle support of C4I tactical vehicles and related interface systems, subsystems and equipment, and associated programs and projects…

We’re just taxpayers, after all, and that kind of language has become increasingly prevalent. Phrases like “or other equipment” and “associated programs and projects” tend to make Pentagon-watchers nervous. But what’s surprising here is the gap between the size of the contract awarded Monday — $12,500 to two contractors, for a total of $25,000 — and its ultimate ceiling — $698,249,000. That makes Monday’s contract 0.0036% of its potential total size. Battleland is sure there is a good reason for such a financial chasm, but isn’t sure it wants to hear it.