Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wire: Obama Seeks $75.5 Billion for Wars in `09

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2009 -- President Barack Obama will seek an additional $75.5 billion for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of the current fiscal year, according to unnamed sources familiar with the request, financial Web site reported Wednesday.

The dollars for the wars are less than Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked for.

The White House discussed early this week an 18 month drawdown schedule for troops in Iraq.

However, Obama plans a only 2/3 reduction of the 142,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq to a level of around 50,000 personnel there in support, training, and non-combat roles.

The extra funding for fiscal 2009, which ends Sept. 30, also spreads the dollars for adding 17,000 troops to the U.S. force of 38,000 in Afghanistan.
Gates in December said he would need $69.7 billion more this year, not counting the cost of adding troops in Afghanistan. On Feb. 3, he told the White House he would need as much as $83 billion. Obama announced the troop increase two weeks later.

The $130 billion requested for the conflicts in fiscal 2010 is at the low range of the Pentagon’s request for $130 billion to $140 billion.

Congress already has approved $65.9 billion in emergency wartime spending for fiscal 2009.
Bloomberg also reported that the latest request would bring the total to about $141.4 billion, the lowest amount for war spending since fiscal 2006 when Congress approved $121.5 billion. Congress approved $171 billion for fiscal 2007 and $187 billion for fiscal 2008. That was the highest level since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

(Report from a commercial news source.)


Related: Wire: Obama to Cut Funding to Troops

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