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Key Army Departures Put Acquisition Projects in Question

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Malcolm O'Neill; Photo: Defense.gov

The shakeup at the Army — two high-profile departures last week — could cast doubt on some of the service’s acquisition projects, Defense News reports.

Last week, President Barack Obama announced he would nominate Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also last week, Malcolm O’Neill surprised colleagues when he announced he would retire after a year at  his post, according to a Defense News report.

“There’s a very good chance the Army will take a 45-degree turn here in the fact that Dempsey and the acquisition chief are leaving at the same time,” Gen. David Barno told Defense News. “I think a lot of the directions that Dempsey put in place at [Training and Doctrine Command] and then continued in his short stint as chief are in question right now,” Barno was an outside senior to Dempsey, when the latter headed the Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Army acquisition has received a few black eyes of late. A recent review of acquisition said it would take “major surgery” to get back on track.

But Jim Carafano, an analyst with the right-leaning think tank Heritage Foundation, suggested there could be a “silver lining.” “He [O’Neill] put together a good leadership team, but it is still a question of who will take over and whether they will follow through on his vision.”

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