The Pentagon’s ongoing use of an emergency war fund is undermining U.S. national security, according to a new think-tank study.
In an analysis released Tuesday, the Washington-based Stimson Center argues that the Pentagon should phase out the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, which was originally set up to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The sprawling defense agency has come to rely on the fund to fill gaps in its overall budget.
“We conclude in this report that the uncertainty created by current reliance on OCO, particularly to fund base budget needs, could be detrimental to national security,” the 20-page report states. “Given the consequences of continued misuse of OCO, we suggest that President Obama and his successor develop and commit to a credible plan to wind down OCO funding beginning with the expiration of the Bipartisan Budget Act” in fiscal 2018.
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