A special report from the U.S. Army to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team projects that plans for a bigger force in that branch alone will up the defense bill $40 billion annually.
Plans conceived under the current administration and tacitly endorsed by the incoming, call for the addition of 74,200 troops to the Army’s ranks.
A draft of the report obtained by Defense News indicates that the future force of 1.1 million soldiers would require a budget of $170 billion to $180 billion per year to sustain – a significant increase above the 2009 budget of about $140 billion.
Meanwhile, independent defense budget analysts have projected that recruiting and training 10,000 soldiers costs $1.2 billion a year. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other independent budget analysts, using this calculus, the increase in troops would have a price tag of about $80 billion -- through 2013.
The CBO has projected that sustaining the extra forces will cost about $14 billion per year – a good deal less than the latest Army report suggests, according to Defense News.
In other report highlights: The Army is “making progress, but there are rough years ahead” in the ongoing effort to repair and restore its war-worn vehicles, helicopters, and other gear. “We have an achievable plan to restore balance to the Army by the end of fiscal 2011. The next two years are critical.” The next administration will primarily face “hybrid threats” -- “dynamic combinations of terrorist, irregular, conventional and criminal elements.” But a war against another nation, as opposed to groups like al-Qaida, “cannot be ignored.” The current global fiscal slowdown likely will complicate global security. The report predicts a threat picture shaped by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, globalization, demographic shifts, resource competition among nations, climate change, natural disasters, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The planned 1.1 million-soldier force could support 20 brigade combat teams and support forces, assuming 12-month active-component deployments and nine-month reserve-component deployments with a 12-month mobilization.
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