US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara displays 26 April 1965 during a press conference in Washington, DC a Chinese-made machine-gun seized in South Vietnam on a Vietcong fighter.
US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara displays 26 April 1965 during a press conference in Washington, DC a Chinese-made machine-gun seized in South Vietnam on a Vietcong fighter. - 
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When Robert McNamara, one of the "Whiz Kids" who helped to turn around the fortunes of Ford Motor company, entered service as President John F. Kennedy's Secretary of Defense he took his private sector business practices to the Pentagon.

In order to consolidate purchasing of items integral to the country's national defense, McNamara created the Defense Logistics Agency which has grown to the size of a massive corporate entity employing 25,000 workers and processing tens of thousands of orders daily. Now more than 50 years after the agency's founding, it faces its first ever outside audit along with renewed questions about how it operates and how it spends its billions in taxpayer funds.

Bryan Bender, defense editor at Politico explored the organization and its efforts at reform in the article, "How do you buy $7 billion of stuff you don't need?"

 

Follow Adriene Hill at @adrienehill