The U.S. Defense Budget

Cindy Williams. statement before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. Senate, 23 February 2010. Hosted on the Commonwealth Institute website.


O&M spending does seem to rise and fall in loose concert with total defense budgets-an indication that some of the seemingly avoidable rise in O&M spending is a consequence of budget largesse as much as a cause of it.

One thing is certain: assuming that O&M costs face an unavoidable rise simply because they rose in the past is the surest way to make it so. Several past efforts to bring O&M costs under control have been successful. Assuming based on past trends that it cannot be done is an invitation to waste. The better strategy is to put O&M on a diet and challenge the services to bring the costs of operation and upkeep under control.

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