Obama will ask for an 8% increase in the core budget of the Defense Department, according to the Associated Press. Something like $43 billion of the funding will be earmarked for ongoing operations in Afghanistan, despite a steady troop draw-down. And why is this information classified? I wonder how many Americans believe this almost unimaginable outlay makes America “more safe and more prosperous.” For a rational view of American foreign policy, read Chris Preble’s The Power Problem.
More from Starts and Stripes:
President Barack Obama will ask Congress for a hefty, almost 8 percent boost for the Pentagon, including $5.3 billion to equip and train Iraqi soldiers and moderate Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State militants in the Middle East.
Obama will ask for $534 billion for the core budget of the Defense Department — a $38 billion increase — according to “pre-decisional” Pentagon documents obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday. That means there could be some slight changes when the budget actually comes out Monday.
The Pentagon witnessed major budget cuts with the imposition of so-called budget sequestration in 2013 and has been held at a freeze since then. Military brass say the bleaker budgets have forced cuts in flying hours, troop training and maintenance of military equipment. The agency was due for just a $3 billion increase under caps set in a 2011 budget pact.
The increases are likely to find support among defense hawks on Capitol Hill, but Republicans controlling Congress are only in the early stages of figuring out how to pay for them. Simply taking the money from domestic agencies is sure to be opposed by the White House and could lead to gridlock in Washington.