President Trump is facing growing pressure to step in and halt his favorite corporate punching bag, Amazon, from securing a historic, $10 billion contract to lead the Pentagon’s 21st-century cloud computing efforts.
With Amazon rival Oracle Corp. expected to argue in court Wednesday that the entire bidding process has been marred by conflicts of interest and secret meetings, key lawmakers are pressing Mr. Trump to personally insert himself into the process and push for a better deal — and perhaps to ensure the massive contract is split among multiple companies.
The contract fight centers on one of the biggest procurement projects of the Trump presidency to date: a secure computing cloud to handle the massive data, encryption and storage needs of the world’s biggest and most technologically sophisticated military bureaucracy.
Private defense analysts say the establishment of a sweeping cloud system is crucial to the military’s modernization and its preparations for the next generation of combat. The JEDI contractor will play a central role in ensuring that troops in the field have real-time access to classified data.
Analysts say Mr. Trump would be well within his rights to intervene and demand some changes to the structure of the Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program, better known as JEDI. The JEDI contract, expected to be awarded as soon as August, would cover the storage and processing of huge amounts of classified Pentagon data, and the winner would be linked in an unprecedented high-tech partnership with the U.S. military.
Pentagon officials have defended their handling of the contract process and have expressed concerns that a lengthy legal battle over the contract could have negative effects as rivals such as China and Russia boost their own military technological prowess.
This article originally appeared on washingtontimes.com To read the full article, click here.
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