How the Pentagon’s Move to the Cloud Landed in the Mud

The Pentagon didn’t mince words in March when introducing the Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative, or JEDI Cloud program: “This program is truly about increasing the lethality of our department and providing the best resources to our men and women in uniform,” the Defense Department’s chief management officer, John H. Gibson II, told industry leaders and academics at a public event. JEDI aims to bring DOD’s computing systems into the 21st century by moving them into the cloud. The Pentagon says that will help it inject artificial intelligence into its data analysis and equip soldiers with real-time data during missions, among other benefits. For the winning bidder, the contract will be lucrative: Bloomberg Government estimates it will be worth $10 billion over the next decade.

Or at least that’s how it should have worked. But little about the JEDI Cloud contract is standard. With dramatic pre-bid accusations,

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