April 25, 2011
Linking the Readiness of the Armed Forces to DoD's Operation and Maintenance Spending
"Spending for operation and maintenance (O&M) supports the military services' day-to-day activities, such as training military units, maintaining equipment, recruiting service members, operating military bases, and providing administrative services. DoD typically cites the readiness of military units to perform their missions in wartime as the primary justification for its O&M budget requests to the Congress. DoD, however, has not been able to clearly identify the relationship between the department's O&M spending and the readiness of military units. Nor has the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO's) analysis—which used historical data to attempt to establish statistical relationships between O&M spending and readiness for selected units—yielded a well-defined linkage. Those efforts were not fruitful, largely because the information needed to determine that linkage—effective measures of readiness and detailed data on spending—is not readily available or may not, in fact, exist."