Report: Larger Army Will Cost $40 Billion Annually

Monday, December 15, 2008 1:21 PM

By: Dave Eberhart

A special report from the U.S. Army to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team projects that plans for a bigger force in that branch alone will up the defense bill $40 billion annually.

Plans conceived under the current administration and tacitly endorsed by the incoming, call for the addition of 74,200 troops to the Army’s ranks.

A draft of the report obtained by Defense News indicates that the future force of 1.1 million soldiers would require a budget of $170 billion to $180 billion per year to sustain – a significant increase above the 2009 budget of about $140 billion.

Meanwhile, independent defense budget analysts have projected that recruiting and training 10,000 soldiers costs $1.2 billion a year. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other independent budget analysts, using this calculus, the increase in troops would have a price tag of about $80 billion -- through 2013.

The CBO has projected that sustaining the extra forces will cost about $14 billion per year – a good deal less than the latest Army report suggests, according to Defense News.

In other report highlights:

The Army is “making progress, but there are rough years ahead