March 11, 2019

Trump pumps up Pentagon war-fighting account in bid to fund defense over domestic programs

Featuring Susanna V. Blume

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist Paul Sonne

President Trump asked for a massive increase in the Pentagon’s war-fighting account in an attempt to spend more on defense without having to cut a deal with Democrats on domestic programs, even as he promises to end U.S. military entanglements abroad.

Known as the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, or OCO, the war-fighting account is excluded from the spending caps set out in the 2011 Budget Control Act because it funds ongoing war efforts such as the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

On Monday, the Trump administration requested $165 billion for the account in the 2020 fiscal year, up from $69 billion this year.

The reason: It’s a backdoor way to increase the defense budget while technically staying within the confines of caps that run for two more years. The result is a brewing battle with Democrats over how much the United States should spend on its military versus domestic priorities.

Read the full article and more in The Washington Post.

  • Susanna V. Blume

    Senior Fellow and Director, Defense Program

    Susanna Blume is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research areas include the Defense program and budget, defe...