Magazine article National Defense

O&M Costs Could Hamper Plans for Military Buildup

Magazine article National Defense

O&M Costs Could Hamper Plans for Military Buildup

Article excerpt

* Continued growth in operation and maintenance costs could undermine efforts to beef up the U.S. military, analysts said.

In a recent report, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the Trump administration's plans would put the armed services on a trajectory to add 237,000 personnel in the coming years, about a 10 percent increase. Additionally, the Navy would move to increase its fleet battle force by 30 percent to 355 ships, and the Air Force would increase the fighter force from 55 to 60 squadrons, according to the report, "Analysis of the Long-Term Costs of the Administration's Goals for the Military."

If the Trump administration's plans were fully funded, the total cost from fiscal years 2018 through 2027 would be $683 billion higher than the Obama administration's final budget plan for those same years. About $342 billion of that would stem from growing the force after 2018, the report said.

However, it's unclear whether that kind of money will be available.

"CBO estimates the administration's goals for the military would result in steady increase in costs so that by 2027, the base budget (in 2018 dollars) would reach $688 billion, more than 20 percent larger than peak spending during the 1980s" military buildup overseen by President Ronald Reagan at the height of the Cold War, the report said. …

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