By Dan Dupont / July 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM

The Congressional Budget Office has released its annual assessment of the Pentagon's future years defense plan.

Its conclusions:

  • To execute its base-budget plans for 2013 through 2017, DoD would need appropriations totaling $53 billion (or 2.0 percent) more in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms than if funding for the base budget was held at the 2012 amount of $543 billion. For the entire projection period of 2013 through 2030, DoD’s base-budget plans would require appropriations totaling $1.2 trillion (or 12 percent) more than if funding for the base budget was held at the 2012 amount in real terms.

  • The primary cause of growth in DoD’s costs from 2013 to 2030 would be rising costs for operation and support (O&S), which accounts for 64 percent of the base budget in 2012. In particular, under DoD’s plans, there would be significant increases in the costs of military health care, compensation of the department’s military and civilian employees, and various operation and maintenance activities.

  • The costs of replacing and modernizing weapon systems would grow sharply during the next several years, from $168 billion in 2013 to $212 billion in 2018 in real terms—an increase of 26 percent. Acquisition costs would remain fairly steady at that level until 2025 before declining.

  • The growth in DoD’s costs would be less than the growth of the economy, so costs would decline as a share of gross domestic product (GDP). Spending for DoD’s base budget was 3.5 percent of GDP in 2010 and would decline to 3.0 percent of GDP in 2017 and to 2.5 percent in 2030.