Aerial photograph of the eastern entrance of the Pentagon

The Hill: The Pentagon Needs a Six-Pillar Foundation

The defense budgeting system is more reflective of Soviet-era bureaucratic structures than the vibrant U.S. capitalist model, write MITRE’s Matt MacGregorPete Modigliani, and Greg Grant in an op-ed.

As illuminated in multiple studies and papers, this antiquated budget system has produced a Joint Force that is rapidly losing its military advantage to advanced peer rivals like China and Russia.

More specifically, the current Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) system isn’t timely, strategically aligned, responsive, or transparent.

Currently, it takes up to three years for the Department of Defense (DoD) to generate the annual defense budget and for Congress to review and appropriate funding. This prevents DoD from focusing investments on new priorities, countering emerging threats, or taking advantage of innovative technologies.

The good news is the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the establishment of a PPBE Commission. This independent body will assess the current challenges and develop budget process recommendations that will better deliver the “operational capabilities necessary to outpace near-peer competitors…and support an integrated budget that is aligned with strategic defense objectives.”

The authors suggest the Commission develop recommendations for a modern defense budget based upon their whitepaper, Pillars of the Modern Defense Budgeting System.

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