A new report from a Washington-based think tank points to an ever-widening disconnect between the size of the Defense Department’s Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund and the troop levels it was originally meant to pay for, citing that fact as one reason to eliminate the separate OCO budget once and for all.
“It’s become a safety valve for a lot of things that belong in the DoD base budget, and the biggest reason is the Budget Control Act,” Heeley said in an interview for a forthcoming edition of Federal News Radio’s On DoD. “Once the budget caps were in place, Congress and the Pentagon were looking for ways to get around them. OCO was ripe for abuse from the beginning because it exists outside the base budget, but the caps almost forced folks to look for a loophole, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. It doesn’t make sense to have a permanent emergency account as part of your budget every year.”