The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest organizations in the world, managing global security responsibilities with numerous international allies and partners. What does it take to fund DoD? Where does that money go? How is DoD coping in the current fiscal environment? What gaps exist between the strategy outlined in the Quadrennial Defense Review and the capabilities funded by the latest budget request?
In this report, CSBA Senior Fellow Todd Harrison examines the Pentagon’s most recent budget proposal, including military compensation costs, readiness funding, cost projections for major acquisition programs, and the request for Overseas Contingencies Operations.
The report estimates the gap between the strategy and defense program called for in the QDR and the budget caps currently in effect—a gap that totals into the hundreds of billions over the FYDP. The report concludes that the Pentagon has not budgeted enough to fully resource its strategy nor has it revised its strategy to fit within the budget constraints set by Congress. If this strategy-resource gap is not resolved, it will inevitably lead to greater risk in executing an already under-resourced strategy and defense program.