Defense Acquisitions: How and Where DOD Spends Its Contracting Dollars [July 2, 2018] [open pdf - 1MB]
"The Department of Defense (DOD) has long relied on contractors to provide the U.S. military with a wide range of goods and services, including weapons, vehicles, food, uniforms, and operational support. Without contractor support, the United States would not be able to arm and field an effective fighting force. Costs and trends associated with contractor support provide Congress more information upon which to make budget decisions and weigh the relative costs and benefits of different force structures and different military operations--including contingency operations and maintaining bases around the world. This report examines (1) how much money DOD obligates on contracts, (2) what DOD is buying, and (3) where that money is being spent. This report also examines the extent to which these data are sufficiently reliable to use as a factor when developing policy or analyzing government operations."
CRS Report for Congress, R44010