The Defense Department is failing in its efforts to adopt the kind of cutting-edge innovations that can make the military more modern, efficient and competitive, according to a new Reagan Foundation and Institute report.

The panel of experts who reviewed various aspects of the innovation landscape gave the government an F for “providing erratic and ill-focused funding, with Congress routinely passing appropriations weeks or months late and frequently plussing-up traditional programs instead of new technology,” as Breaking Defense reported.

Former Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), one of the reviewers who helped develop the scorecard, said the slowdown on innovation goes beyond the Pentagon walls.

“It’s the culture, it’s the incentives,” said Thornberry, the former top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. “It’s not just the Pentagon. It’s Congress too.”

Of 10 inputs the organization reviewed on its scorecard, “Innovation Leadership,” which looked at innovation across all economic sectors, scored highest with an A-minus, but the report stressed that “strategic competitors are investing heavily to catch up.”

Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson