The Tragic Consequences of the Broken US Defense Budget Process

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United States Department of Defense, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed J.L. “Jim” Hancock.

The J.L. Hancock Commentaries

Price and Hancock discuss the broken defense budget process and the ripple effect it has.
On the program, they look at the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) system. The current framework for allocating resources within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), has been criticized for its rigidity, lack of transparency, and inability to adapt to changing national security needs. In addition, they rarely take the proper steps historically required to pass a defense budget. In fact, Congress hasn’t even passed a budget on time in 27 years.
This outdated system has led to several negative consequences, including:Misallocation of resources: The PPBE’s focus on short-term priorities and its inability to account for emerging threats has resulted in the misallocation of resources. Funds are often directed towards outdated programs and weapons systems while critical emerging technologies are underfunded.Inefficiencies and waste: The PPBE’s rigid structure and lack of flexibility create inefficiencies and waste within the DoD. The system’s emphasis on detailed planning two to three years in advance often leads to procurement delays, cost overruns, and underutilization of funds.Impaired long-term planning: The PPBE’s focus on short-term budgeting cycles hinders long-term planning and strategic decision-making within the DoD. The system’s rigidity makes it difficult to adapt to evolving threats and technological advancements, putting national security at risk.To address these issues, the DoD — and Congress — need to implement a more flexible and forward-looking budgeting process that aligns with its long-term strategic goals and can effectively adapt to changing national security needs.

J.L. “Jim” Hancock was born in Albuquerque, NM. He has worked as a martial arts instructor, lifeguard, foreign missionary, and river guide. In 2002, he enlisted in the Navy and spent twenty years as a cryptologist.

During his time in the military, Jim toiled away in the dark corners of the government intelligence communities, learned two Asian languages, and eventually conducted over one hundred combat operations with special operations forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. During the last six years of his career, he worked as the senior enlisted advisor over future concepts and innovation for the Navy special operations community where he became a well-known subject matter expert in unmanned systems, 5G, and artificial intelligence.

He is presently writing a series and a standalone novel.

The Voodoo series involves a skilled military technician facing the evolving global threat of an international arms race for artificial intelligence.

His upcoming standalone novel, The Devil and the Pendulum, is a modern riff on The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. But instead of demons learning to tempt man, The Devil and the Pendulum consists of Russian agents learning to manipulate modern America.

J.L. Hancock lives in San Diego, CA, with his wife and two children.

You can find out more about emerging tech trends at his website You can also purchase his recent technothriller, The Hawk Enigma, on Amazon.

Connect with him through social media:

Twitter/X: @authorJLHancock


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