21 September 2012

Palantir and the Acquisitions System

Did 3MECH try to sneak their way around the system?

The issue that alarmed Shyu was that the unit said it couldn’t pay for the system, and the company offered its technology on a cost-free basis, as opposed to normal contracting methods. Shyu wrote that “these circumstances warrant immediate corrective action by the Army to ensure that we comply with fundamental rules relating to how the government obtains goods and services from industry.”
The memos, addressed to the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office and the Technical Support Working Group; and to intelligence contractor Praescient Analytics and Palantir, asked for a “temporary training/reach-back server” from Palantir before the 3rd ID’s deployment to Afghanistan to assume command of Regional Command-South. The unit deployed in August.
The 3rd ID’s memo said that the unit’s budget “will not support the purchase of Palantir. Operational Needs Statement (ONS) was considered, but standard length of timeline for ONS cannot be tolerated. This requirement needs to be filled immediately.” The memos obtained by Defense News show that the 3rd ID considered the 82nd Airborne’s use of Palantir in Afghanistan in 2012 critical in helping to fill “major capability gaps” in the division’s existing intelligence software, and that Palantir is “the only platform capable of filling their advanced analytic requirements.” Because the unit planned on using the software on its upcoming deployment, the memo states that “3rd ID needs a rapid fielding of this system to quickly fill critical capability/training gap prior to our pending deployment.”

One has to wonder whether or not all this bullshit would have happened if CIDNE hadn't fucked CENTCOM, and the Army as a whole, with all their political machinations surrounding the shutdown of FusionNET. There's nothing that we've heard that Palantir can do that FusionNET couldn't do 7 years ago, and it was already in the Army inventory, bought and paid for by the government.
CIDNE ramped up their political whining machine instead of improving their software, and got FusionNET shut down. As far as CIDNE was concerned, their problem was solved.
But the ground forces' problems were not, and thus Palantir was born to try to help unfuck the gaps in capability that CIDNE continued to have. The difference this time is that Palantir has better political cover than FusionNET did.
However, we're now paying for another system to do what CIDNE claimed they could do all along, when we'd already paid for one back in '04-'07. The US taxpayer is sucking up the cost of CIDNE's political dick-dancing by being forced to pay for the same capabilities all over again.

By: Brant

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