Following World War II, the United States entered into a Cold War with Russia. To win this Cold War, the United States had to develop sophisticated weapon systems with such destructive power that any aggressor knew that the retaliatory capability of the United States could and would inflict vast destruction.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were committed to ideas concerning technology that had not been developed as yet. Aerospace and defense contractors were growing without bounds, thanks to cost-plus-percentage-of-cost contract awards. Speed and technological capability were judged to be significantly more important than cost. To make matters worse, contracts were often awarded to the second or third most qualified bidder for the sole purpose of maintaining competition and maximizing the total number of defense contractors.

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