Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pentagon stalls $10B Amazon contract

Pentagon stalls $10B Amazon contract

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Amazon was considered a strong contender to provide technology for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (Jedi) programme – a contract that is also being pursued by Microsoft – but critics argued that the bidding process favoured the Seattle-based technology titan. AFP

Pentagon stalls $10B Amazon contract

The Pentagon has put off awarding a $10 billion cloud computing contract sought by Amazon, saying on Thursday that the process will be reviewed by the newly-appointed defence secretary.

Amazon was considered a strong contender to provide technology for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (Jedi) programme – a contract that is also being pursued by Microsoft – but critics argued that the bidding process favoured the Seattle-based technology titan.

The move to stall the contract process came a week after Mark Esper was confirmed as the new US secretary of defence.

Esper was selected by US President Donald Trump, who has lashed out at Amazon and company founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.

“Secretary Esper is looking at the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure programme,” defence department spokeswoman Elissa Smith said.

“No decision will be made on the program until he has completed his examination.”

The contract has caused controversy over whether internet giants claiming to be trying to make the world better should be involved in the defence industry.

Amazon chief Bezos has defended the company’s bid for the contract, saying it was important to support US defence efforts, even if it is unpopular.

“This is a great country and it does need to be defended,” Bezos said late last year at a conference in San Francisco.

Bezos was asked about his position on defence contracts after Google dropped its bid for the Pentagon cloud computing contract because it would be inconsistent with its principles.

“We are going to continue to support the DoD,” he said, referring to the Department of Defense.

“If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble.”

Bezos added that many in the tech industry feel “conflicted” by the current state of politics, but maintained that the US “is still the best place in the world” where, he said, “everybody is trying to come”.

Microsoft is Amazon’s only rival in the bidding for the winner-take-all contract, despite employees urging it to drop out.

“Many Microsoft employees don’t believe that what we build should be used for waging war,” read a blog post on Medium.

“The contract is massive in scope and shrouded in secrecy, which makes it nearly impossible to know what we as workers would be building.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement