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Published:February 1st, 2008 14:25 EST
Cheap?  You decide.  Bush stiffs Troops

Cheap? You decide. Bush stiffs Troops

By SOP newswire

Washington, D.C. – With the Bush administration set to request next week only a $70 billion chunk of its total Fiscal Year 2009 war budget, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation criticized the administration for circumventing the will of Congress and requesting only partial funding for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For a summary of war funding since 2001 and additional resources, click here: http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/supplemental_war_funding/index.html.  

Remember to visit the Center's website on Monday afternoon, February 4, 2008 for detailed information on the release of the Pentagon's Fiscal Year 2009 budget request.

In 2007, the administration presented its full Fiscal Year 2008 war funding request alongside its normal "base" DOD appropriations request. This year, however, the White House claims that it wants to wait for recommendations from military commanders, including an anticipated spring report by Gen. David Petraeus, before submitting any more of its request.

But this explanation does not hold water in light of the fact that last year's compliance came at a time when the surge was only beginning in Iraq and conditions were just as uncertain as they are today.

"The Defense Department is ignoring the will of Congress," said Christopher Hellman, Military Policy Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. "Legislation enacted by Congress two years ago requires the Pentagon to include war funding requests as part of their overall budget, and to provide adequate supporting documentation. The $70 billion 'place-holder' war budget the Pentagon is requesting doesn't meet these requirements."

Total war funding approved by Congress has reached nearly $700 billion to date. This cumulative total includes approximately $505 billion for Iraq and $140 billion for Afghanistan. If Congress approves the administration's full $196 billion FY2008 request, total war funding will surpass $820 billion since September 11, 2001.

The additional $70 billion for FY2009 set to be introduced next week will push the request to date above $890 billion. Initial estimates project that total costs for Iraq and Afghanistan in FY2009 may reach $200 billion. That would push cumulative war requests over the $1 trillion mark.

"The Bush administration's use of so-called 'emergency' supplemental funding to pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is truly unprecedented," added Travis Sharp, Military Policy Analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. "Historically, as soon as even a partial projection of costs could be made, usually a year or two at most, ongoing military operations were funded through normal Pentagon appropriations bills."

For a summary of war funding since 2001 and additional resources, click here: http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/supplemental_war_funding/index.html.  

Founded in 1980, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a leading advocate for prudent measures to prevent the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Visit the Center online: http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/