Military Will Soon Pay More For Former Soldiers Than Current Ones

With reforms unlikely, a new study warns the Pentagon has a major people problem.

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The Pentagon soon will spend more on health care and other benefits for former military personnel than on the men and women fighting today's conflicts, according to a new study.

A Bipartisan Policy Center study group composed of former defense officials is warning that in 2014 the "cost of veterans' benefits will exceed [the] amount spent on active-duty troops."

As the Pentagon faces shrinking yearly budgets, Pentagon officials and analysts are calling for major changes in military personnel and retirement programs to make them cheaper. They warn if personnel costs are allowed to skyrocket, there will be fewer funds to buy combat hardware. "I want to see money going to [buy] tanks and bullets...and drones, not to people who get a pension for 50 years after they leave the military," says Dov Zakheim, a former Pentagon comptroller and Booz Allen Hamilton executive.

Read about America's costly veterans.