When President Obama requested a $106 billion “emergency” was funding bill in early 2009, it was promised that this would be the last time the administration would ever seek such a supplement, and that they would instead simply increase the size of their regular defense funding bill to cover the wars.
And indeed, the FY 2010 defense funding bill indeed included a massive bump in funding for the assorted ongoing wars, one that was shrugged off however as it was said to replace the annual “emergency” requests.
In spite of this, President Obama is now planning to ask for another $33 billion in “emergency” war funding to pay for his latest escalation of the war in Afghanistan, as well as to purchase yet more attack drones.
The president’s initial projections for war costs, given shortly after he took office, seem remarkably low in retrospect, as they haven’t anticipated the continuation of the Iraq occupation at such a high level nor the multiple escalations of the Afghan War since he took office last year.
The idea of folding the war costs into the regular defense budget seemed reasonable, since the United States is pretty much perpetually at war nowadays. The addition of a new “emergency” request on top of the increased defense budget has given Americans the worst of both worlds, and given Congress ample opportunity to pump billions in irrelevant projects into “can’t miss” war bills.