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A CBO Paper: The Long-Term Implications of Current Defense Plans and Alternatives: Summary Update for Fiscal Year 2006

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Summary and Introduction Decisions about national defense that are made today whether they involve weapon systems, military compensation, or numbers of personnel can have long-lasting effects on the composition of U.S. armed forces and the budgetary resources needed to support them. In the past three years, the Congressional Budget Office CBO has published a series of reports projecting the resources that might be needed over the long term to carry out the plans in the Administration s then-current Future Years Defense Program FYDP. This paper, like CBO s previous reports, provides longterm projections through 2024 of the costs of the Department of Defense s DoDs current plans that is, the plans contained in the 2006 FYDP, which covers fiscal years 2006 through 2011 and reflects changes to the department s programs and priorities since February 2004. In addition, the paper describes projections that CBO developed for two alternatives to DoD s current plans. Under CBOs evolutionary scenario, DoD would largely forgo acquiring new, advanced weapon systems and instead pursue evolutionary upgrades to its current capabilities. Under CBO s transformational scenario, DoD would emphasize to a greater extent than current plans do the acquisition of the advanced capabilities that DoD associates with military transformation in the process forgoing selected programs that offer lesser advances and changing current plans for compensating military personnel. Both alternatives incorporate the assumption that the size of U.S. military forces will not change significantly relative to DoD s current plans. The Defense Department s current plans encompass a mixture of evolutionary and transformational programs. The alternatives developed by CBO are not intended as specific spending paths.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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