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

    CBO compared the earnings, personal income, and household income of working-age male veterans who received disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs with those of veterans who did not receive such payments.

  • Graphic

    In the President’s 2024 budget request, total military compensation is $551 billion, including veterans' benefits. That amount represents an increase of 134 percent since 1999 after removing the effects of inflation.

  • Report

    CBO estimates that eliminating the maintenance backlogs of roughly 20,000 buildings that the Navy uses and maintains in the United States would cost $17 billion. Renovating and modernizing the buildings would cost an additional $32 billion.

  • Interactive

    This tool allows the user to see the effects on the Department of Defense’s total operation and support costs and on the size of the military of adding or subtracting tanks, ships, aircraft, and other units.

  • Report

    Under the three alternatives in the Navy’s 2024 plan, total shipbuilding costs would average about $34 billion to $36 billion per year (in 2023 dollars) through 2053, CBO estimates, as the Navy built a fleet of 319 to 367 battle force ships.

  • Report

    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.

  • Report

    CBO analyzes funding for special and incentive pay for active-duty service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps and explores how those types of pay have been used to address personnel shortfalls.

  • Presentation

    The Defense Logistics Agency buys fuel and charges the military services for it. But volatile fuel costs can cause changes in rates that create budgetary challenges for the services. CBO examined new ways to budget for and price fuel.

  • Report

    CBO estimates that plans for U.S. nuclear forces, as described in the fiscal year 2023 budget and supporting documents, would cost $756 billion over the 2023–2032 period, $122 billion more than CBO’s 2021 estimate for the 2021–2030 period.

  • Report

    CBO provides an introduction to the basics of satellites and constellations, describes the reasons for and consequences of the projected growth in large constellations, and discusses the costs of fielding those constellations.

  • Report

    CBO reexamines the availability and use of the Department of Defense’s F-35 fighter aircraft and presents new findings on availability rates, flying hours, and effects of aging.

  • Report

    CBO compares the availability and use of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft with the availability and use of their predecessor F/A-18C/D Hornets and other aircraft. Super Hornets have aged more adversely than the F/A-18C/Ds.

  • Report

    CBO analyzes the hypersonic missiles being developed by the U.S. military and compares them with less expensive existing or potential weapons that might fill similar roles, such as cruise missiles or ballistic missiles.

  • Report

    This update of CBO’s 2016 primer on the structure of the U.S. military describes the size, functions, and operation and support costs of every major element of the armed forces.