In his first budget proposal, President Barack Obama has requested over $205 billion in war funding through the end of fiscal 2010. The funding would be in addition to the $533.7 billion he is asking for the Pentagon’s regular budget next year.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates cheered the movie as a “strong commitment to our security” at a time when the economy is floundering. The move is a break from the Bush Administration’s tactic of funding the war through “emergency” requests. President Obama says putting the war funding “on the books” is important to ensuring officials are honest about the amount of money being spent on the nation’s assorted wars.
At the same time, the administration is anticipating “big savings” going forward in defense spending. The 2010 war budget will be lower than the overall 2009 budget, going from $141 billion to $130 billion. Past fiscal 2010, the administration is budgeting only $50 billion a year for wars, described as a “placeholder estimate,” but likely well below the reality as the nation escalates the war in Afghanistan, keeps up to 50,000 troops in Iraq, and discusses troop deployment in any number of other nations.