BBC News & Voters for Peace – 2009-04-09 22:52:09
Obama’s War Bill ‘to Be $83 Billion’
WASHINGTON (April 9, 2009) — US President Barack Obama is seeking $83.4bn (£56.7bn) for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, sources in Congress say. He is due to send an official request to Congress shortly, the White House said, without giving details.
The money is needed to pay for Mr Obama’s new Afghan strategy and the “drawdown” of combat troops in Iraq. Congressional sources said the sum included special troop funding, a measure Mr Obama previously opposed.
It breaks down into $75.8bn for the Pentagon and more than $7bn in foreign aid, including $1.8bn for Pakistan, the Associated Press news agency reports.
If the sum is confirmed, it will bring the cost of the two wars to almost $1tn since 9/11, the Congressional Research Service calculates. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the request was a “supplemental”, meaning it falls outside the usual budgetary process.
“A supplemental is required in order to fund the new strategy in Afghanistan and fund the process in Iraq that will lead to a draw-down of all of our combat troops,” he told reporters. “We can’t wait until the appropriations process is done in September or August… to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in June.”
Mr Gibbs added that this would be “the last supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan”. “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,” he said.
© BBC MMIX
Drop the Military Budget
Voters for Peace
The United States is facing an economic crisis unlike any it has seen 80 years. Already trillions have been spent on the bailout by the Federal Reserve and FDIC. Congress has approved an economic stimulus that will cost more than $800 billion.
The national debt is over $10 trillion and the annual deficit is over $1 trillion. How is the United States going to pay for it? How is it going to fund the new energy economy, schools, education, health care and other urgent needs? One solution: cut the wasteful and bloated military budget.
President Obama has introduced a military budget that is $21 billion larger than the Bush military budget. On top of this he is preparing to ask Congress for more war funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – an additional $75.5 billion is expected.
Please take action now and urge Congress and the President to reduce military spending, stop killing civilians with drones and other weapons, and end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan now, Bush holdover Robert Gates, has called for cutting some no-longer-needed and very expensive weapons systems, but he is also seeking more money for drones and a bigger DoD budget.
Obama’s DoD budget is $534 billion, compared to Bush’s $513 billion budget. On top of all this he is preparing to ask Congress for more war funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – an additional $75.5 billion for the remainder of 2009 is expected. The military budget continues to be out of control despite the massive federal budget deficits and urgent economic needs at home. Does the U.S. really need to spend as much as the whole world combined on weapons and war?
Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) had it right when he called for a 25% cut in military spending. Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) describes Obama’s military budget as “embarrassingly naïve.” Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D., Cal.) says she cannot imagine voting for such a budget and she heads the largest caucus in Congress, the Progressive Caucus.
Please take action today to support those in Congress who oppose military spending and urge President Obama to reduce his request for more military spending.
• Click here to send a letter to Obama and your representatives in Congress.
Virtually every day we read about drones killing civilians and creating new enemies for America. The U.S. needs to stop creating more enemies with drone attacks that kill civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This does nothing but undermine U.S. national security.
President Obama needs to be a commander in chief that holds the military accountable every time a civilian is killed. He needs to say to his military commanders – no more drone attacks if you cannot guarantee no more civilian deaths. Such killings undermine diplomatic and reconstruction efforts and makes the U.S. less secure.
Please take action now and urge your elected officials and President Obama to reduce military spending, stop killing civilians with drones and other weapons, and end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan now.
Executive Director, Voters for Peace
I am writing to urge you to reject President Obama’s increase in military spending and to urge an immediate end to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The military budget the president proposes is $21 billion larger than the budget planned by President Bush. On top of the record $534 billion DoD budget, he is going to ask for $75.5 billion more for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is time for Congress to face up to the out of control budget for weapons and war. It is time to focus on the necessities of the American people.
Please support President Obama’s plan to stop production of expensive and no longer needed weapons, but oppose the increase in production of drones. Nearly every day the U.S. hears reports of dron