United States

President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for USD 33 billion in emergency war funding for a major U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan this year, defense officials said on Jan. 13. The money, mainly for the deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and other war costs in the current 2010 fiscal year, would come on top of Obama's expected request to increase the Pentagon's overall budget in fiscal 2011 to a record USD 708 billion, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Fiscal 2010 Defense Department funding, including war costs in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as military construction, already comes to USD 660 billion. If approved by Congress, the USD 33 billion emergency funding request, in line with estimates released last month by the Pentagon, would push that 2010 total to USD 693 billion. The budget for fiscal 2011, which begins on Oct. 1, is expected to be released by the White House on Feb. 1. (Reuters)

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