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House of M.

‘[I]t kept failing to solve any problems the Navy had,’ Lowell said. ‘It looked at first as if it might have some merit. But we found out quickly it didn’t really solve the problems. And the company wasn’t very responsive and wasn’t very robust. . . . It was living entirely’ on grants from Congress.” The WP examines Project M, a Pentagon research project kept alive on congressional earmarks (to the tune of $37 million) well past its potential usefulness. “Once begun, promising but speculative programs like Project M are hard to kill, sustained by members of Congress who want to keep jobs in their districts, military officials who want to keep their options open and businesspeople who want to keep their companies afloat.

Update: In a related story, the Post finds Rumsfeld at the switch when it comes to the Pentagon’s antiquated military procurement system. “‘DOD is simply not positioned to deliver high-quality products in a timely and cost-effective fashion,’ the comptroller general of the United States, David M. Walker, said in a little-noticed April 5 critique. The Pentagon, he said, has ‘a long-standing track record of over-promising and un-delivering with virtual impunity.’

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