Presentation by David E. Mosher, Assistant Director for CBO’s National Security Division, at the Professional Services Council’s 2018 Federal Strategic Planning Forum.
If the Trump Administration’s goals for increasing the readiness, size, and capabilities of the military were pursued, cumulative costs would be $683 billion (or 12 percent) higher from 2018 through 2027 than costs of the Obama Administration’s final budget plan for those same years.
About half of that difference would result from implementing the Trump Administration’s goals for expanding the size of the military after 2018. The other half of that difference would accrue primarily because more spending is planned for readiness and for research and development than was included in the Obama Administration’s final budget plan and because the current plan starts at a higher end strength than would have been the case under the 2017 FYDP. Specifically, the current Administration’s request calls for 2.130 million military personnel in 2018, whereas the Obama Administration’s final plan called for 2.074 million military personnel in that year.