I suspect the problem is the government panic after 9/11. Standards were thrown out the window, along with accountability. For a decade it was raining money around the Beltway, as long as you were able to deliver warm bodies with the right credentials. And now, in various unhappy ways, we are seeing the consequences.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.