Peace Operations

Estimated Fiscal Year 1995 Costs to the United States Gao ID: NSIAD-95-138BR May 3, 1995

Several U.S. agencies have participated in peace operations during fiscal year 1995, such as those in Haiti, Bosnia, and Southwest Asia. The Defense (DOD) and State Departments are the two lead agencies involved in U.S. peace operations. The U.S. Agency for International Development is the lead agency that provides humanitarian assistance and coordinates U.S. donations of food with the Agriculture Department. This briefing report provides information on (1) agencies' potential fiscal year 1995 costs of peace operations, (2) the potential U.S. share of United Nation assessments for peace operations, and (3) the manner in which the annual defense budget enables DOD to participate in peace operations.

GAO found that: (1) federal agencies' and departments' participation in peace operations is estimated to cost $3.7 billion during FY 1995, and $672 million of this estimated cost has not been funded; (2) this estimated cost could increase if the need for new operations arises or current operations are expanded; (3) about $1.8 billion, or 49 percent, of the estimated cost is DOD's estimated incremental costs for its involvement in peace operations; (4) the incremental costs include: (a) special payments, including imminent danger pay, family separation allowance, and foreign duty pay for troops deployed to certain peace operations; (b) operation and maintenance expenses in support of deployed forces; (c) procurement of items such as forklifts and fire support vehicles; and (d) limited military construction at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; (5) several nondefense agencies and departments will bear the remaining estimated U.S. government costs of $1.9 billion, for example, the estimated U.S. share of special UN peacekeeping assessments, which are paid by the Department of State, is $992.1 million for FY 1995 peace operations; (6) the expansion of existing missions or the approval of new missions could increase UN peacekeeping costs and hence the U.S. share of those costs; (7) according to UN mission planners, several missions could undergo changes or expansions, including the missions in Western Sahara and Rwanda, and Burindi, which is considered a "hot spot," could be the site of a new mission; no estimate is available yet for the cost of a mission to Burundi; (8) DOD's annual budget provides it with the capability to conduct peace operations but does not fund the operations' incremental costs; (9) as a means of determining how funds are spent, programs can be divided into "investment" and "support" categories: investment programs fund the procurement of defense capital goods, such as weapons and facilities, and support programs fund the operation and maintenance of defense forces and equipment; (10) funding for each of these categories contributes to military capability in different ways: investment funding builds a stock of equipment that lasts for many years; and support funding provides the people and other resources to operate and maintain the equipment; (11) this funding makes it possible for U.S. military forces to engage in peace as well as more traditional military operations; and (12) it would be difficult to estimate with any reasonable assurance what portion of investment and support costs should be applied to peace operations.

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