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The officer added, “The chain of command believes they need to have this capability in the fight and that it will save soldiers’ lives and limbs. Bottom line, there is a significant capability gap in DCGS … that Palantir greatly exceeds, and with extremely high stakes in a very violent environment, today we need the capability advantage that Palantir provides.”

The officer offered a devastating assessment of the Army’s preferred system:

“Bottom line from our perspective is that [DCGS] has continuously overpromised and failed to deliver on capability that will meet the needs of the warfighter.

“All the bullet points they can list on a slide sitting back in the Pentagon don’t change the reality on the ground that their system doesn’t do what they say it does, and is more of a frustration to deal with than a capability to leverage.

“We aren’t going to sit here and struggle with an ineffective intel system while we’re in the middle of a heavy fight taking casualties. Palantir actually works. When DCGS actually works, we’ll be ready to use it.”

He added: “If the crew of people I work with their combined IQ, ingenuity, and years of experience, can’t figure out how to make DCGS work in this fight, they need to fix their system.”

Mr. Hunter said the 82nd Airborne should have been equipped with Palantir before it left the United States and not have to beg for it once in Afghanistan.

“If they would have gotten this software six months earlier or a year earlier, or be able to buy into it prior to deployment, who knows how many lives could have been saved?” he said.

“Who knows how much more successful they could have been at finding IEDs and finding the guys who were making the IEDs?”