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Current Affairs

Joe Biden cancels JEDI project

Date: 09 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The US government has cancelled a cloud computing contract awarded to Microsoft during the term of President Trump.

 

Background

The project was named as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) and was worth $10 billion. It will now be renegotiated.

 

Details

  • The issue had created controversy when Amazon had challenged the award of contract to Microsoft alleging favoritism in bidding process.

  • Amazon had said that President Trump did no favour it and was responsible for unilaterally awarding it to rival Microsoft.

  • The Department of Defence said that the JEDI cloud project did not meet the required criteria in its current form and a new one will soon be floated.

 

The JEDI cloud project

  • The cloud computing contract was one of the largest digital modifications of the armed forces. It would have allowed direct contact with soldiers on the battle field.

  • It intended to make use of artificial intelligence to increase fighting capacities and planning the war in future.

  • The cloud would store large amounts of defence data, which would provide service infrastructure and support mission operations.

 

Reasons for cancellation

  • Amazon was expected to be at the forefront to get the deal but was replaced by Microsoft at the last minute.

  • Amazon challenged the award of contract in court citing interference of President Trump in contract process.

  • The contract did not matter much in terms of money but getting nod from US military would put a stamp of approval that would bring them new customers in future.

  • The new Biden administration said that the legal challenge would completely stall the process and till then the technology would become outdated. It therefore decided to cancel the deal.

 

Way ahead

  • The defence department has designed a new system known as Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) that will have participation of both Amazon and Microsoft.

  • The administration would use multiple companies to get cloud services so that the department does not depend on a single vendor.