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More Money for War, Through the Back Door

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, expects the Pentagon to request emergency financing for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Bush-era tactic that uses “supplemental funding” to flesh out the already massive Pentagon budget to pay for the conflicts. — JCL

The New York Times:

The nation’s top military officer said Wednesday that he expected the Pentagon to ask Congress in the next few months for emergency financing to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though President Obama has pledged to end the Bush administration practice of paying for the conflicts with so-called supplemental funds that are outside the normal Defense Department budget.

The financing would be on top of the $130 billion that Congress authorized for the wars just last month.

The military officer, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not say how much additional money would be needed, but one figure in circulation within the Pentagon and among outside defense budget analysts is $50 billion.

Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who is chairman of the House appropriations defense subcommittee, cited $40 billion last week as a hypothetical amount for the supplemental financing request. The number represented a standard calculation of $1 billion for every 1,000 troops deployed.

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