In the end - as with many military contracts throughout the world including the US - cost overruns etc. have hampered progress (think of the US military programs that have suffered from horrendous cost overruns - mainly because of bureaucracy - as Kelly Johnson and Ben E. Rich used to constantly point out.).
Is the defense industry as efficient as other commercial industries? Most likely it is not. The US has by far the largest defense industry in the world. Because of its size, the industry can support numerous private suppliers. The more private suppliers there are, the more competitive it is. So, I would argue that no matter how bureaucratic the US defense industry is, it is likely to be more efficient than in other countries where the defense industry is often a monopoly. For the US, fortunately, or unfortunately, many politicians and journalists make a life of uncovering all the improprieties, some are genuine, some are not. It is because of these people, we hear a lot more about the corrupted and inefficient practices in the US defense industry. It doesn't necessarily mean the US defense industry is more corrupted and less efficient than the rest of the world. In fact, I am pretty confident to say this is not the case. In the rest of the world, you just don't find too many "zealous" politicians and journalists like the ones in the US. Why? I don't know. Perhaps it's national pride/unity, or in some cases, censorship.
Also, because the US is the leader in the defense industry, that's why the US seldom sources their military equipments from foreign countries. So arguments like "the French bought so and so from the US, why the US has not bought so and so from France" is seldom meaningful. The AV
-8/Harrier is a perfect counter example. The US could have re-invented another Harrier on their own soil, but they didn't.