WASHINGTON – Records obtained by The Associated Press show that military bureaucrats have been trying to force a flawed, government-built intelligence system on special operations units deploying to war zones. At the same time, the bureaucrats are blocking soldiers from using a commercial alternative they badly want.
Over the last four months, six Army special operations units have requested software made by a Silicon Valley company, Palantir, that synthesizes data for the CIA, the Navy SEALs and the country's largest banks, among other government and private entities.
But just two of those requests have been approved by the Army's purchasing bureaucracy. Four others have been blocked by Tampa-based Special Operations Command, whose commander, Gen. Joseph Votel, has praised the government-built system.
The military says its questions about Palantir requests shouldn't be interpreted as resistance.