Peace Operations:

Estimated Fiscal Year 1995 Costs to the United States

NSIAD-95-138BR: Published: May 3, 1995. Publicly Released: May 3, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed U.S. peace operations in fiscal year (FY) 1995, focusing on: (1) federal agencies' potential FY 1995 costs of peace operations; (2) the potential U.S. share of United Nations' (UN) assessments for pease operations; and (3) the manner in which the annual defense budget provides the Department of Defense (DOD) with the capability to participate in peace operations.

GAO found that: (1) federal agencies' and departments' participation in peace operations is estimated to cost $3.7 billion during FY 1995, and $672 million of this estimated cost has not been funded; (2) this estimated cost could increase if the need for new operations arises or current operations are expanded; (3) about $1.8 billion, or 49 percent, of the estimated cost is DOD's estimated incremental costs for its involvement in peace operations; (4) the incremental costs include: (a) special payments, including imminent danger pay, family separation allowance, and foreign duty pay for troops deployed to certain peace operations; (b) operation and maintenance expenses in support of deployed forces; (c) procurement of items such as forklifts and fire support vehicles; and (d) limited military construction at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; (5) several nondefense agencies and departments will bear the remaining estimated U.S. government costs of $1.9 billion, for example, the estimated U.S. share of special UN peacekeeping assessments, which are paid by the Department of State, is $992.1 million for FY 1995 peace operations; (6) the expansion of existing missions or the approval of new missions could increase UN peacekeeping costs and hence the U.S. share of those costs; (7) according to UN mission planners, several missions could undergo changes or expansions, including the missions in Western Sahara and Rwanda, and Burindi, which is considered a "hot spot," could be the site of a new mission; no estimate is available yet for the cost of a mission to Burundi; (8) DOD's annual budget provides it with the capability to conduct peace operations but does not fund the operations' incremental costs; (9) as a means of determining how funds are spent, programs can be divided into "investment" and "support" categories: investment programs fund the procurement of defense capital goods, such as weapons and facilities, and support programs fund the operation and maintenance of defense forces and equipment; (10) funding for each of these categories contributes to military capability in different ways: investment funding builds a stock of equipment that lasts for many years; and support funding provides the people and other resources to operate and maintain the equipment; (11) this funding makes it possible for U.S. military forces to engage in peace as well as more traditional military operations; and (12) it would be difficult to estimate with any reasonable assurance what portion of investment and support costs should be applied to peace operations.

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