Pentagon to Use ISIS War to Push for Bigger Budget

Wants More Money for Overseas Contingency Operations

The Pentagon’s defense budget request for 2017, expected to be released related this week, is said to include a major increase in funding sought to pay for the ever-escalating ISIS war, with officials saying it will be about 35% higher than last year’s ISIS war budget.

It is probably unsurprising, as the Pentagon’s escalations have already put 3,700 ground troops in Iraq, with officials openly pushing for another 800 troops in the near term, and likely more than that before the year is out.

Though it’s being earmarked for the ISIS war, the increase would actually be pumped into the controversial Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget, a part of the budget that Pentagon officials are free to shuffle around with very few limitations.

The Pentagon has been facing a lot of internal conflict over its spending priorities, something that’ll probably carry over into the Congressional hearings. In the end, though, Congress tends to give the Pentagon everything it wants and more, and the excuse of the ISIS war seems ready-made for more spending hikes.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.