Pentagon’s Base-Budget Costs Projected to Climb Through 2033

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the Pentagon’s 2019 Future Years Defense Program is leading to a significant increase in the agency’s base-budget costs into the early 2030's. In a report released Wednesday, CBO said the figure could increase from the agency’s request of $617B for 2019 to $735B in 2033. In April, the Department of Defense released the 2019 FYDP detailing the expectations about the planned costs from 2019 to 2023. 

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The document states DoD intention to create an overseas contingency operations-to-base shift in the coming years to transfer the cost of activities funded in the OCO budget to the agency’s base budget. CBO said the move would increase costs in DoD's base budget by $47B per year, while costs included in the OCO budget would be reduced by the same amount. “Over that period, DoD’s annual base-budget costs would be greater than in any year over the past several decades,” the agency said. 

The factors expected to contribute to the increase are the compensation for military personnel, operation, maintenance and the acquisition of weapon systems. Military personnel costs project to cover nearly 25 percent of the total growth from 2024 through 2033, while O&M will cover 55 percent, and 20 percent would be generated by the development and purchase of weapons.

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