Defense and National Security

About one-sixth of federal spending goes to national defense. CBO estimates the budgetary effects of legislation related to national security and assesses the cost-effectiveness of current and proposed defense programs. CBO also analyzes federal programs and issues related to veterans.

  • Report January 22, 2015

    CBO estimates the Administration’s plans for nuclear forces would cost $348 billion over the next decade, close to last year’s estimate. However, projected costs for both the Departments of Defense and Energy have changed somewhat.

  • Report December 15, 2014

    CBO estimates that the cost of the Navy’s 2015 shipbuilding plan—an average of about $21 billion per year (adjusted for inflation) over 30 years—would be one-third higher than the funding that the Navy has received in recent decades.

  • Report November 20, 2014

    The Department of Defense's base budget increased by 31 percent (adjusted for inflation) between 2000 and 2014, mainly because of higher costs for military personnel and operation and maintenance.

  • Report November 6, 2014

    CBO projects that the Department of Defense’s plans would cost an average of $47 billion per year more from 2015 through 2021 than would be provided under the limits established by the Budget Control Act.

  • Report August 7, 2014

    From 2000 to 2013, the number of veterans receiving VA disability payments rose by nearly 55 percent, and spending for those benefits almost tripled. How might changes in VA's disability compensation program affect the federal budget?

  • Report January 16, 2014

    Between 2000 and 2012, the cost of providing health care to service members, retirees, and their families increased by 130 percent (after adjusting for inflation). What approaches might curtail the growth in those costs?

  • Report March 18, 2013

    The costs of the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) budget plans through 2021 would be much higher than the funding permitted under the Budget Control Act’s statutory caps. CBO examined four options to cut back on DoD’s forces and activities.

  • Report November 14, 2012

    For fiscal year 2013, the Department of Defense (DoD) requested about $150 billion to fund the pay and benefits of current and retired members of the military. That amount is more than one-quarter of DoD’s total base budget request.