The Defense Department has little understanding of the systems engineering methods needed in the information age. One system failure after another plagues that organization. Despite the absurdities, the Defense Department continues to defend the cost structure of these platforms and the companies that produce them without penalty. It would seem that oversight, leadership, engineering and production have merged—with disastrous results. Two of our biggest defense companies posted record profits last year, yet no one seems to be outraged. If we protected our troops as well as we do these programs, the loss of so many fine men and women in combat certainly would decline.Is the U.S. Defense Department suffocating under unaffordable cost overruns, catastrophic failures in engineering design, poor manufacturing quality and incompetent technical government oversight? Do defense industries have the skills to build our future, or does the feedback loop in current contracts simply reinforce failure?