Report Card Mixed On Pentagon Weapons Spending, Deadlines

The latest report on weapons systems programs at the Pentagon offers some bright moments against a darker background.

We should all be thankful for small blessings, even if we're feeling fussy about the rest.

The good news from the report, by the GAO: Spending is actually lower -- a cool $296 billion, adjusted for inflation -- than it was last year -- at $301 billion.

The bad news? "For 2008 programs, research and development costs are now 42 percent higher than originally estimated and the average delay in delivering initial capabilities has increased to 22 months," the report said.

And worse: "Most programs still proceed with far less technology, design, and manufacturing knowledge than best practices suggest and face a higher risk of cost increases and schedule delays."

Here's a link to all 190 pages of the full report.

By Robert O'Harrow |  March 31, 2009; 4:55 PM ET defense
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