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This issue marks the first anniversary of the newly titled Defense Acquisition Research Journal. As I explained in these pages a year ago, this journal support’s DAU’s role in providing “thought leadership that helps improve acquisition outcomes”.
As part of the continuing development of that thought leadership process, DAU, in consultation with the DoD, academia, and industry, is generating a list of topics that can guide potential researchers as to the questions that are of particular concern to the broad defense acquisition community. We have stood up a new body, the Research Advisory Board (whose members appear on this journal’s masthead), which will help vet and prioritize these topics. These topics appear in the DAU Research website http://www.dau.mil/research/Pages/researchareas.aspx, and future issues of the Defense ARJ will include highlights of these research areas.
The articles in this issue reflect the theme “Shifting Paradigms,” for they all tackle subjects that mark the movement away from “traditional” defense acquisition and into uncharted territory. Rene Rendon and his co-authors compare the acquisition of services across the DoD, a very timely subject given that the DoD now acquires more services (maintenance, information) than traditional “goods” (planes and tanks). Howard Harris and Mark Lewis examine leadership in joint acquisition programs, which are replacing single-Component acquisition programs in many areas.
Robert Tremaine examines the move away from “years in a seat” measures of career skills, toward the use of specific experiences that can act as catalysts for on-the-job learning. Jay Borst and his co-authors employ new analytical methods to overturn the idea that export controls are hampering U.S. industries in the international satellite market. Peter Eide and Charles Allen revisit 60 years of defense acquisition reform and propose a re-think of the focus of such efforts. Finally, Sydney Coelho reviews Wired for War by P. W. Singer, whose examination of the rise of robotics surely marks the most far-reaching paradigm shift of 21st century defense acquisition.
Dr. Larrie D. Ferreiro