The Pentagon’s accounting system runs on COBOL, “the ancient Sumerian of computer languages”. COBOL was being taught when I took comp sci 25 years ago, and it was pretty much “ancient Sumerian” back then.

Worse than the outdated computer languages is the Byzantine accountability in the accounting process:

The dysfunction stems in part from the traditional independence of the military branches. Over several decades, they have cobbled together separate processes for identical functions, resulting in the uncontrolled growth of more than 4,000 accounting, financial, and inventory systems. […] The department’s primary system for handling weapons contracts and payments dates from 1958; a costly attempt to replace it was abandoned in 2002 as a failure. The Army’s notoriously inaccurate main accounting system was created in 1966.

Since McCain’s budget plan long on tax cuts but his proposed “spending cuts are small and vague“, perhaps he could start his spending cuts here?