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 examines two options for establishing a Space National Guard to support active component Space Force personnel, estimating the additional costs beyond those incurred for existing Air and Army National Guard units that have space-related missions.

  • Report

    This report examines some of the challenges U.S. forces might face in a conflict in the Baltic region or the South China Sea and options for mitigating those challenges by procuring and fielding ground-launched long-range missiles.

  • Report

    Summarizing three reports about the aviation fleets of the U.S. Air Force, Army, and the Department of the Navy, CBO projects the number and costs of aircraft the Department of Defense would need to procure to maintain the fleets’ current size through 2050.

  • Report

    This report examines military compensation and its effects on recruitment, retention, and motivation. CBO also provides a comparison with civilian compensation packages and examines five possible approaches for altering the way that DoD compensates military personnel.

  • Report

    In 2016, members of the reserve component received an average of $12,500 in benefits (measured in 2018 dollars) under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This report describes their use of those benefits and compares how the reserve and regular components use their benefits.

  • Report

    In 2016, the military services allocated $25 billion to base operations support (BOS). CBO explores characteristics of bases and the mission of the units they serve, analyzing the relationship between those characteristics and BOS costs.

  • Report

    CBO estimates that the Navy’s plan to modernize and operate its sealift ships over the next 30 years would cost roughly $39 billion. In this report, CBO explores four alternatives that would vary in cost from $34 billion to $40 billion.

  • Report

    CBO estimates that the total shipbuilding budget would average $31 billion per year, one-third more than the Navy estimates. The plan would require an increase of more than 50 percent compared with recent shipbuilding budgets.

  • Report

    According to CBO’s projections, if the plans described in the 2020 FYDP were implemented, DoD’s costs would increase from the $718 billion requested for 2020 to $776 billion (in 2020 dollars) by 2034.

  • Report

    From 2010 through 2016, the Veterans Benefits Administration spent $65 billion on educational benefits for 1.6 million veterans, spouses and children, mostly for veterans’ tuition, fees, and housing. In 2016, VBA spent an average of $17,400 per beneficiary.

  • 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

    CBO regularly analyzes the Navy’s shipbuilding programs and produces its own estimates of the costs of new ships. CBO’s method relies on historical experience, with adjustments for rate, learning, acquisition strategy, and economic factors.

  • Report

    The U.S. military’s capabilities and budget are determined primarily by its forces. This report describes each type of major combat unit’s structure, function, strengths and limitations, past usage, size, and cost.