Attaining an adequate level of defense at an acceptable cost is as vital and elusive a goal as any the United States has pursued since World War II. No aspect of this goal has proven more vexing than the search for an effective process for purchasing armaments of reasonable price, satisfactory performance, and timely delivery. News accounts abound with reports of serious deficiencies in weapons projects that are central to this country's defense. Recently, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the supplier community have been shaken by a flurry of disclosures and the first indictments emanating from the Department of Justice's investigation of allegations of corruption in weapons acquisition-"Operation Ill Wind."' Accounts of inefficiency, poor system performance, and misconduct in individual programs are becoming so common that they obscure what is at stake. Quite simply, failure to solve the problems of weapons procurement will put both the country's economic well-being and its physical security at risk.

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