Defense and National Security

Analysis of the Navy’s Shipbuilding Plan

At the direction of the Congress, the Department of Defense generally issues annual reports that describe its plan for building new ships over the next 30 years. CBO examines these plans in detail and estimates the costs of proposed ship purchases using its own estimating methods and assumptions. CBO also analyzes how those ship purchases would affect the Navy’s inventories of various types of ships over the next three decades.

Budget Options

Periodically, CBO produces reference volumes examining options for reducing budget deficits. The volumes include a wide range of options, derived from many sources, for reducing spending and increasing revenues. (Occasionally, the volumes focus on specific areas of the budget, as do many of CBO’s other reports.) For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget and a discussion of its pros and cons but makes no recommendations.

A Budget Options search allows users to search for options by major budget category, budget function, topic, and date. The online search is updated regularly to include only the most recent version of budget options from various CBO reports.

Long-Term Implications of the Future Years Defense Program

In most years, the Department of Defense (DoD) provides a five-year plan, called the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), associated with the budget that it submits to the Congress. Because decisions made in the near term can have consequences for the defense budget well beyond that period, CBO regularly examines DoD’s FYDP and projects its budgetary impact roughly a decade beyond the period covered by the FYDP.

Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces

At the direction of the Congress, CBO projects the 10-year costs of the Administration’s plans for operating, maintaining, and modernizing nuclear weapons and the military systems capable of delivering those weapons. The reports are biannual, with occasional interim updates as necessary.

The U.S. Military’s Force Structure

CBO periodically calculates operating costs and personnel numbers for every unit in the U.S. armed forces, using information from the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) five-year budget plans. Those numbers appear in CBO's force structure primer, a reference report that describes the size, costs, and functions of every major element of the military's force structure. Those numbers also underlie CBO's Interactive Force Structure Tool. The tool allows users to add or subtract brigades, ships, aircraft squadrons, and other units to see how such changes would affect DoD’s total operation and support costs and the size of the military.