Average U.S. Troop Cost Nearly Doubled Since 1980

05.20.15 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The average cost to the U.S. defense budget per individual troop member has increased sharply over the past few decades, a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service found, reflecting changes in the size and structure of the U.S. military.

“Since FY1980, the cost per troop–for all expenses ranging from pay to procurement–has almost doubled in real terms from $200,000 per troop in FY1980 to $390,000 per troop in [the] FY2016 request,” the CRS report noted.

The rising average troop cost figures were presented as part of a larger CRS analysis of Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits, dated May 19, 2015.

Another new CRS report considers 16 alternate scenarios under which it might be possible for the U.S. to produce 80 plutonium “pits” for nuclear weapons each year by 2027, as mandated by Congress. See Nuclear Weapon ‘Pit’ Production: Options to Help Meet a Congressional Requirement, May 14, 2015.

Yet another new CRS report discusses the history and status of U.S. relations with Pakistan, including key points of contention and cooperation. See Pakistan-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 114th Congress, May 14, 2015.