- Afghanistan - Barack Obama - Iraq - US military
AFP - US President Barack Obama is asking lawmakers for 83.4 billion dollars more to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through 2009, White House aides said Thursday.
"The supplemental will likely go to Congress today," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters, using the term for a request for money outside the usual budget process. Another White House aide provided the dollar figure.
"A supplemental is required in order to fund the new strategy in Afghanistan and fund the process in Iraq that will lead to a drawdown of all of our combat troops," said Gibbs.
The request is likely to include aid money for Pakistan as part of the revamped Afghan war strategy, and could include help for the Palestinians, another US official said.
Obama had firmly opposed using supplementals to fund the two wars and grouped them in his regular budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins October 1, but the US military needs money now.
"We can't wait until the appropriations process is done in September or August or September to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in June," said Gibbs.
"The honest budgeting and appropriations process that the president has talked about falls somewhat victim to the fact that this is the way that wars have been funded previously," the spokesman said.
But "this will be the last supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan," he promised.