Say what you will about him, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is candid.
In his first testimony on Capitol Hill since he retired in 2011 as the top civilian at the Defense Department, Gates singled out the Army's Modular Handgun System acquisition program for criticism.
Here's what he had to say, as my colleague Richard Sisk reported:
"In her questioning of Gates, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, complained about the 350-page request for proposals the Army came up with for a new handgun for soldiers and asked, 'What should Congress do to fix this mess?'
Gates said that lawmakers should become 'disruptors' of the process. They should call the Army secretary and the Army chief of staff before them and 'ask why is it taking you guys 10 years? It's a handgun for God’s sake.'
Congress should also look in the mirror when trying to assign blame for the shortcomings of the acquisition process while trying to score political points off that same process, Gates said."
Gun-makers plan to submit their proposed pistols to the service in January, the Associated Press reported last week.