The most valuable organization in the US military complex is the office of Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). As documented countless times in this blog, DOT&E is the only thing preventing the military from engaging in wholesale fraud when it comes to weapons development testing. For their part, the Navy has done everything they can to skirt, avoid, bypass, and ignore DOT&E test requirements and has been publicly slapped down multiple times for it. A good example is the Navy’s attempt to avoid shock testing on the Ford which was thwarted by DOT&E.
Unfortunately, someone has gotten to DOT&E and appears to have neutered them.
But next year, the Pentagon’s office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation will issue two different versions of the 2021 report: An unclassified version that will be available to the public, and a version with “controlled unclassified information” (CUI) that will only be made available to lawmakers and those inside the department, according to Raymond O’Toole, acting head of the DOT&E office. 
As a reminder, DOT&E is required by law to release a public version of its annual report.
DOT&E is required by law to submit an unclassified version of the report every year. 
Why is the Director taking this action?
“I thought it very important to provide Congress and the Secretary the test evaluation details that shouldn’t wind up in our adversaries’ hands, hence the new CUI version of the annual report,” he said at an event hosted Monday by the National Defense Industrial Association. 
No one wants to make sensitive information available to the enemy but the dual reports are not necessary. DOT&E already routinely issues classified sub-reports, as warranted.
The problem is that the negative information will, undoubtedly, be deleted from the public version and pushed to the ‘controlled’ version where we will not be able to see it.
Mandy Smithberger, director of defense information for the Project On Government Oversight, raised concerns that most technical details could be pushed to the CUI version, leaving the unclassified version a shell with little relevant insight. 
“DOT&E already has the ability to include classified reporting, and I worry that this will end up [resulting] in a watered down version of the report that makes it more difficult for the press and the public to make sure that we are buying weapon systems that are effective and safe,” she said in an email to Breaking Defense. 
More frightening is that, under this new system, the military gets to decide what is ‘controlled’ and what is not.
O’Toole also stated that the decision about what constitutes “controlled unclassified information” ultimately rests with the services, not DOT&E itself. 
Do you really think the military is going to allow negative results to appear in the public version? I think we can anticipate, with 100% certainty, that the services will use a very broad definition of ‘controlled’ to keep unflattering information from going public.
Someone has gotten to the Director and applied pressure to coerce him into hiding weapon failures. There is no other explanation. As someone who has read every DOT&E report issued, I can assure you that the information in the DOT&E reports contains nothing that could remotely be considered classified or sensitive. The reports contain almost no actual data and only vague descriptions of the issues that arise during testing.
Beyond that, our enemies have active and robust cyber espionage programs and know far more about our weapon programs than what appears in the DOT&E reports.
The pubic exposés of the various program failures are the only means the tax-paying public has to evaluate whether their tax dollars are being well spent.
DOT&E reports are often the only negative reports ever seen as the Navy/military trots out an endless string of spokesmen to sing the praises of the various programs. According to Navy spokesmen, there has never been a weapon system or test that did not far exceed our wildest hopes … and yet we have the LCS, Ford, Zumwalt, and so many other abject failures. Well, you didn’t hear about those failures from the Navy. Only DOT&E gave you the straight truth.
The Director has been co-opted by the Pentagon and is doing a disservice to the American public by watering down the public version of the annual report. This is only going to make an already badly broken weapon development, testing, and acquisition process even worse … if that’s even imaginable.
You'll recall that INSURV reports got classified when they were demonstrating too many negative results, and now this.
DOT&E was the shining light in military systems development and testing and now that light has gone out.
Breaking Defense, “Pentagon tester to restrict info on weapons programs, raising transparency concerns ”, Valerie Insinna, 6-Dec-2021,