Paying More for Vets Than Troops Starting in 2014

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Thought-provoking chart from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s assessment of how sequestration, if it happens, is likely to affect the defense budget beginning Jan. 2. In fact, it warns, there’s trouble looming, regardless of the sequester:

Three main pathologies internal to the structure of the DoD budget are increasingly detracting from investment in military capabilities: personnel costs consume a growing portion, with large overhead and a ballooning procurement system also leaving less money to be spent on defense itself. And these trends are unlikely to change any time soon. Although DoD plans for nearly 100,000 fewer troops in five years, it expects to be spending more on personnel in 2017 than today, and in 2014 – regardless of the sequester – the cost of benefits for veterans is projected to exceed the amount spent on salaries and benefits for active duty troops.