CSIS experts Todd Harrison, Kathleen Hicks, Andrew Hunter, Mark Cancian, and Raymond DuBois recently signed an open letter calling on members of Congress to authorize a round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).
On Tuesday, the Trump administration plans to release its first budget request to Congress, which will include a detailed budget proposal for defense. This will be the first chance to see the specific priorities of the new administration and gauge whether campaign rhetoric about growing the military will become administration policy.
Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding poses challenges for the new administration as they prepare its FY 2018 budget request. OCO funding is intended for war-related activities that cannot be forecasted. However, it has become a convenient loophole for defense spending since it is not restricted by the Budget Control Act (BCA) budget caps. This analysis address the challenges presented by OCO funding and possible options for handling base budget activities in OCO.
OCO has grown over the years and has become a means to get around budget caps. Yet, good governance would dictate a change in the way the government uses OCO funding. In its current form, OCO poses problems, yet changes to OCO would raise another set of challenges. So what, if anything should be done to reform OCO? Or is it fine as is?