Defense Budget: Need to Strengthen Guidance and Oversight of Contingency Operation Costs Page: 4 of 37
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Accountability * Integrity * Reliability
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548
May 21, 2002
The Honorable Daniel Inouye
The Honorable Ted Stevens
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Since the end of the Persian Gulf War in February 1991, U.S. military
forces have been involved in overseas military contingency operations
almost without interruption. These operations-which include the
enforcement of no-fly zones, humanitarian assistance, and peace
enforcement-had a reported incremental cost of over $29 billion. The
majority of these costs ($26 billion) were incurred in the Balkans (Bosnia
and Kosovo) and in Southwest Asia. In fiscal year 2002, U.S. military forces
continue to participate in such operations-the most recent being the
efforts to combat terrorism'--and, based on the experiences of the past
decade, they will likely do so in the future. (See app. I for a map of ongoing
overseas contingency operations as of Jan. 2002.)
In light of the billions of dollars the Department of Defense (DOD) spends
each year to support contingency operations, you asked us to examine
those costs and DOD's oversight of them. As agreed with your office, we
examined (1) the appropriateness of the military services' expenditures of
contingency operations funds and (2) the effectiveness of DOD's oversight
of these expenditures. We further agreed to confine our work to the Army
and the Air Force because these two services accounted for over
80 percent of the contingency operations expenditures in fiscal year 2001.
DOD's financial management regulation defines incremental costs as costs
that are above and beyond baseline training, operations, and personnel
'As the current efforts to combat terrorism did not begin until the end of fiscal year 2001,
this report does not address the costs associated with them or how the funds have been
GAO-02-450 Contingency Operations
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United States. General Accounting Office. Defense Budget: Need to Strengthen Guidance and Oversight of Contingency Operation Costs, report, May 21, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293027/m1/4/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.