But assume that U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan does end in the next year or so, and that war spending goes down or even disappears altogether. Even in that scenario, defense spending is scheduled to increase in every year except one, even with sequestration cuts. The CBO’s numbers, minus war spending, begin with $518 billion in 2014. For 2015, the number is $510 billion. For 2016, $520 billion. For 2017, $525 billion. For 2018, $532 billion. For 2019, $549 billion. For 2020, $563 billion. And for 2021, $576 billion. (The CBO chart does not have relevant numbers for 2022 and 2023.)
So under a scenario of continued war in Afghanistan and under a scenario of no war in Afghanistan, and everything in between, defense spending is scheduled to rise steadily in the next decade, even with sequestration cuts.
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