Finally, a defense secretary who would roll up his sleeves and start getting bloated Pentagon spending under control.
His name was Robert McNamara, and he and his “whiz kids” had plenty to fix. Each armed service had a different butcher’s smock because they couldn’t agree on the requirements for an appropriate apron for a military chef. The Army took longer to field a new rifle than it took the Air Force to build a bomber. The Air Force squabbled with NASA over what America needed in space. The Navy’s shipbuilding costs were through the roof.
McNamara launched an unprecedented effort to ride herd over the service acquisition cats. He wanted to chuck contracts that let companies rake in obscene profits. He wanted everything audited. There would be adult leadership and centralized decision-making, no useless duplication, and no buying weapons to fight the last war.