Pentagon pauses controversial JEDI cloud contract

The Pentagon has announced that it is pausing the controversial $10 billion cloud contract. Defence Minister Mark Esper says he wants to further investigate the so-called JEDI contract following complaints from US President Trump about the award process of the contract.

Pentagon spokesman Elissa Smith said to ZDNet that Esper wants to make sure our troops have the best capabilities, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), to be the most deadly force in the world, while keeping taxpayers’ money safe.

Esper is keeping his promise to Congress members and the American public by investigating the JEDI programme. No decision will be made in the program until he has completed his research.

JEDI contract

The Pentagon wants the services of the Ministry of Defence to be transferred to the cloud. To make this possible, a single cloud provider will be selected, who will receive the so-called JEDI contract. The battle is now between two companies: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft. AWS is considered a favourite.

However, several tech companies have complaints about the selection process and the contract. They find it unusual that only one party gets the contract. It would be more logical if multiple providers were awarded the contract and a multi-cloud strategy were to be implemented.

In addition, Oracle, among others, believes that AWS is preferred in the process. This is where the company filed a lawsuit, which it lost in July. The judge found that the preferential treatment and the claimed conflict of interest had not been proven.


Trump said at the end of last month that he had heard the complaints. They say it wasn’t a competitive offer, says the president. I’m going to ask them to take a good look at it to see what’s going on, because I’ve seen very few things that have been complained about so much.

The intention was that a decision on the JEDI contract would be taken at the end of this month.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.