Pentagon seeks $120B in war funds
The Pentagon is expected to seek in the range of $120 billion for overseas war costs next year, a significant drop from 2011 but still a stubborn strain on deficit-reduction efforts.
The new request was discussed Thursday at a closed-door briefing for top lawmakers with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and confirmed to POLITICO by an administration official.
For the current fiscal year, the Obama administration has assumed about $159 billion in costs for military operations, chiefly in Afghanistan and Iraq. The new estimates now appear to reflect the double impact of pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq and also getting a better handle on stepped-up operations in Afghanistan.
Nonetheless it is a very different picture than President Barack Obama had once hoped for as a candidate backed by anti-war forces in his party. In contrast with the Bush-era budgets, Obama has made a point of including some place-holder for war costs in his spending plans, but these have proven more of a gesture than any accurate forecast of the dollars needed.
For example, Obama's 2011 budget—just a year ago at this time— assumed $50 billion as a "placeholder" for contingency war funds in 2012, less than half of what now is expected to be needed.
Given the nature of war and the changing tempo of operations, even detailed, timely estimates are vulnerable to the same short-comings. In some respects, the $159 billion request for 2011 may have proven too high and the extra contingency funds became an escape valve of sorts for House and Senate Appropriations looking for ways to buy new military equipment and still cope with proposed cuts from the core defense budget.
At this stage, the flow of war-related funds has not been impacted by the continued impasse in Congress over the 2011 budget. But Gates is clearly restless with the situation that has left most of his department frozen at 2010 funding levels under a stopgap continuing resolution, or CR, due to expire Mar. 4.
After blocking the Democrats from acting last month on a longer term solution, the incoming House Republican majority is showing signs of changing course and allowing some relief for defense.
"They would love to have an appropriations bill they can deal with," said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R- Cal) after meeting with Gates. "I'm going to go back to leadership and talk to them and see if there isn't some way we can't get to an appropriations budget for defense. If they are stuck with the CR, they'll probably end up wasting money. None of us are interested in wasting money."
Comment: We must wake up to this depressing fascist news. We must oppose the Obama Regime. POTUS Obama is a fascist Chicago gangster and mass murderer with his war policies. The U.S. government is out of the control of the American people. I cannot understand why more of us are not outraged about all these billions of dollars being spent on the unjust wars in the Middle East. POTUS Obama is getting more and more corporate capitalists on his staff and the whole country is going down a shit hole.
"The Pentagon is expected to seek in the range of $120 billion for overseas war costs next year, a significant drop from 2011 but still a stubborn strain on deficit-reduction efforts... For the current fiscal year, the Obama administration has assumed about $159 billion in costs for military operations, chiefly in Afghanistan and Iraq."
These Yahoo Groups are cool but I wonder how many people actually bother to read these posts, some folks just post stuff to feed their ego and see their names. There is little feedback. It gets to be just a lightweight glee club. Many times only a few people even bother to post. These days I am mainly on Twitter and Facebook because at least I can get some decent Feedback.
Feedback is the life and soul of social networking, not just posting a bunch of stuff nobody but cyber ghosts ever see.
Venceremos! We Will Win!
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F.Kennedy ~ c/s