Review Essay: Reading the Dream Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious V-22 Osprey, by Richard Whittle, in Light of the Defense Acquisition Performance Study
Vol. 43, No. 3 Public Contract Law Journal 391 (Spring 2014)
33 Pages Posted: 2 May 2014
Date Written: 2014
This review commends The Dream Machine to a broad range of readers, including public contracts attorneys, acquisition policy officials, contracts professionals, program managers, government procurement law students, as well as consumers of military history. It’s a remarkable story told with style. The review juxtapose some aspects of the author’s exhaustive case study of this seemingly problematic program against the Defense Department’s nascent effort to assess the performance of the Defense Acquisition System. We make no secret of our belief that DoD’s acquisition performance assessment has the potential to become one of the most significant recent developments in defense acquisition. Among other things, the review essay highlights some particularly informative or entertaining aspects of the book. Ultimately, the essay concludes by focusing on the ultimate question that we hope DoD chooses to address more broadly in its future performance assessment: is the V-22 a success story, a cautionary failure, something in between, or none of the above? Our concern is that DoD might be asking the wrong questions.
Keywords: government contracts, public procurement, defense acquisition, procurement spending, performance measures, acquisition metrics, program management, appropriations, tiltrotor, boeing, bell, V-22 Osprey, Marines, Air Force
JEL Classification: D72, D73, H42, H56, H57, K12, L91, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation