Tags: pentagon | spending

Report: Larger Army Will Cost $40 Billion Annually

Monday, 15 Dec 2008 01:21 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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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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