OCO: There’s Still More Ways to Run the Numbers Through the Veg-O-Matic

Rolling Analysis, FY21 Budget OCO: There’s Still More Ways to Run the Numbers Through the Veg-O-Matic

National Security,  | Analysis
Feb 11, 2020  | 2 min read | Print Article

We’ve already written about the OCO portion of the Pentagon’s budget request, but more details about the abuse of these funds is revealed as we keep reading. As we wrote about last year, OCO is now being stretched to cover enduring Pentagon missions that were never intended to be funded with contingency money.

In fact, if this year’s $69 billion in OCO funding was a nice potato, the Pentagon would be using every blade that comes with the Veg-O-Matic to slice it into new, bite sized (if you’re an Orca whale), pieces.

Potato chips? You bet! “Direct War Requirements” (you know, what OCO is supposed to pay for like combat and combat support activities) comes in at $20.5 billion.

French (errrr, Freedom) Fries? No problem. “Enduring Requirements” for “enduring in-theater and [Continental United States] costs that will remain after combat operations end” is almost half the total bill at $32.5 billion. Can we just point out that the definition means the money is not being requested for either contingencies nor, necessarily, to be spent overseas. Seems like they might want to come up with another name for OCO.

Waffle fries? (Yeah, you get the reference there, right?) That’s covered by the $16 billion that is for “Base Requirements”. This is where they stop trying to kid around and just admit the OCO spending is to plug a hole in the Pentagon’s budget dyke. You know, a potato would plug that hole just as well.