A “slow/micromanaged Cold War resource system,” is “the number one obstacle to us competing” according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Major General Cameron Holt.  In remarks made recently before the Government Contracting Pricing Summit and reported in the Coalition for Government Procurement’s Friday Flash, Holt goes on to cite a familiar list of acquisition system ills:  uncertain funding, a complex and growing system of regulations, and the unattractive nature of such a market to companies that may have the very technological solutions we need to stay competitive with potential adversaries like China.  Such an acquisition system puts the US at a competitive disadvantage when trying to develop and field national security solutions to keep China, and others, in check.  Holt states, “(w)e are going to lose if we can’t figure out how to drop the cost and increase the speed in our defense supply chain.  It’s a mathematical certainty.”  Holt’s comments make clear that, while it may be nice to achieve certain socio-economic, environmental, and other goals (see below) via acquisition policy, government leaders in both the legislative and executive branches need to understand that the system exists primarily to ensure that government agencies have the tools they need to execute their missions.  Sandbag the process with excess weight and mission readiness takes a hit.  Costs go up, too.  Holt estimates that the rules in the US defense acquisition system result in our spending $20 to every $1 China invests in national security systems.  Bogging down the acquisition process with a wish list of perceived ancillary benefits is not in the best interest of the country and definitely drives up costs for taxpayers.  Industry needs to own that message and ensure that its heard often and everywhere until we have a system that meets the basic mission of providing agencies the tools they need to keep the nation and its people safe.