Defense Budget and Program Issues Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-87-3 February 19, 1987

GAO testified on the allocation of resources for implementing the U.S. defense strategy. GAO found that: (1) between 1980 and 1986, the United States invested $1.6 trillion in defense and expects to invest $2.5 trillion by 1990; (2) the Department of Defense (DOD) increased budget allocations during the 1980's to improve sustainability, but not at the same relative rate as it has increased other components of the budget; (3) DOD will face budgetary demands in the future for the operation and support of a 600-ship Navy, the maintenance and operation of the B-1B bomber fleet, the development and acquisition of a Stealth bomber, the continued modernization of the Army, and the continued development of several missile programs; (4) DOD started or proposed too many weapons systems, resulting in more funding requirements than funding availability; (5) DOD stretched procurements over an extended period of time to reduce current-year budgets; (6) DOD should limit the number of new programs, eliminate marginal programs, and budget more realistically; (7) operating and support costs of $47 billion in 1986 for new ships will nearly double by the year 2000; (8) DOD procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation accounts have grown from 34 percent of the defense budget in 1980 to nearly 45 percent in 1986 and 42 percent in 1988; and (9) DOD budgetary allocations for support readiness and sustainability accounts did not grow proportionately between 1980 and 1986.

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