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The Defense Department has seen a surge in spending over the last five years. That growth comes along with shifts in acquisition and strategic priorities for the Pentagon.

  • Gregory Sanders, deputy director and fellow for the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said budget caps caused a low point in defense contract obligations five years ago, so sustained budget increases are the biggest driver in the 41% increase since then.
  • A slight increase in Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs), which provide more flexibility but less transparency, has allowed for sustained research and development funding that otherwise would have been constrained, said Sanders.
  • Sanders said there will probably be some changes in acquisition priorities this fiscal year or next and possible changes in merger and acquisition policy.

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