Military Budgets and Defense Spending


The portion of the national budget that is allocated to defense covers salaries, training, and health care; maintains and purchases arms, equipment, and facilities; funds military operations; and funds the development of new technologies. RAND analyzes defense expenditures and advises military and civilian decisionmakers on options to maximize the effectiveness, continuity, and innovation of the nation's military force.

  • Commentary

    Bad Idea: Looking for Easy Solutions for PPBE Reform

    The means by which the Department of Defense decides how to spend its budget has long been criticized as needlessly complex and incapable of helping policymakers choose among investments to meet strategic goals. Seeking solutions, Congress created the Commission on PPBE Reform in the 2022 defense policy bill. But the reforms the system needs may not be as obvious as they seem.

    Mar 2, 2023

  • Commentary

    Rising to the Challenge: A Methodological Approach to Prioritizing Defense Investments

    Meeting the Pentagon's goals to invest efficiently in military capabilities calls for a methodological process hinging on five key elements: aligning strategies with tasks, understanding what drives military innovation, embracing specificity in problem-solving, preparing for an unknown future, and assessing technology investments for prioritization.

    May 30, 2023

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