Long-Term Implications of the 2024 Future Years Defense Program
CBO analyzes the Department of Defense’s plans for 2024 through 2028 as presented in the 2024 Future Years Defense Program. Under those plans, CBO projects, defense costs would increase by 10 percent between 2028 and 2038.
In this report, the Congressional Budget Office analyzes the costs from 2024 through 2028 of the Department of Defense's (DoD's) plans as presented in the 2024 Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) and projects how those plans would affect defense costs through 2038.
The proposed budget for DoD in fiscal year 2024 totals $842 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that amount is about the same as the amount appropriated for 2023 (excluding the supplemental funding provided in 2023) but is 5 percent more than the amount anticipated for 2024 in the previous FYDP.
According to the 2024 FYDP, DoD's budget after 2024 would remain nearly unchanged (when adjusted for inflation) through 2028. The relative shares of funding for operation and support, acquisition, and infrastructure would also change little.
Over the following 10 years, the cost of DoD's plans would increase by 10 percent, reaching $922 billion (in 2024 dollars) in 2038, CBO projects. Nearly 70 percent of that increase would be for operation and maintenance or military personnel.
The costs of DoD's plans may be underestimated in the 2024 FYDP. They would be about 3 percent higher from 2024 to 2028 and about 4 percent higher from 2024 to 2038 if the department's costs grew at rates consistent with CBO's economic forecast (in areas such as compensation) or historical trends (in areas such as weapons acquisition). To accommodate higher costs, DoD would need to scale back its plans or request larger budgets than are anticipated in the 2024 FYDP.