Pentagon chief orders probe into ‘war cloud’ contract
Mark Esper, the newly-appointed Pentagon chief, ordered a review of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) “war cloud” contract after President Trump threatened to investigate whether it was written with a bias towards Amazon.
A DOD spokeswoman confirmed the investigation in a statement on Thursday.
“Keeping his promise to Members of Congress and the American public, Secretary Esper is looking at the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program,” Elissa Smith, the DOD spokeswoman, said, referring to the highly controversial $10 billion cloud-computing contract.
“No decision will be made on the program until he has completed his examination,” she added.
Esper was sworn in as Defense secretary late last month, after the Senate confirmedhim in a 90-8 vote.
“Secretary Esper is committed to ensuring our warfighters have the best capabilities, including artificial intelligence, to remain the most lethal force in the world, while safeguarding taxpayer dollars,” the statement notes.
Esper’s investigation comes two years after the JEDI contract was announced, and months into a bitter battle between some of the country’s largest tech companies over who will get to profit from the deal.
Trump raised the stakes a few weeks ago when he publicly said that he would order his administration to look “closely” at allegations that the DOD favored Amazon when it drew up the contract.