By: Andre Francisco
With the United States engaged in a new war in the Middle East, some politicians and military leaders are saying that the U.S. will not be able to pay for these military campaigns and should therefore abandon fiscal discipline. POGO’s Ethan Rosenkranz joined Erica Fein of Women’s Action for New Directions and Stephen Miles of Win Without War in writing an op-ed that strongly pushes back on the idea that the U.S. won’t be able to find the money for these new conflicts.
From the op-ed:
Here’s the reality. Over the past few years, the Budget Control Act has kept the Pentagon’s base budget relatively flat at just under half of one trillion dollars. Nonetheless, the Pentagon has found ways to avoid fiscal discipline and Congress has let them, twice offsetting a portion of the act’s mandatory defense reductions with other nondefense savings.
More importantly, unlike most other federal agencies, the Pentagon has an off-budget war chest slush fund, known formally as the Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, account. It is not subject to statutory spending caps.
The Pentagon has a half a trillion dollar base budget in addition to its uncapped war account. This is exactly where funding for new operations will come from.
Read the full op-ed at Defense One.