While briefing on an upcoming report, military commanders said that Obama will ask congress to approve another $33 billion when it submits its budget in February. Apparently $708 billion isn’t enough for the defense department for 2010.
The extra $33 billion would go toward the expansion of the war in Afghanistan.
The administration also plans to tell congress its military objectives for the next four years, which would be:
- Winning the current war while preventing the new ones
- And keeping counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations as its core mission
Military commanders also received the preview of the administration’s budget plan through 2015. The four year policy statement outlines six key mission areas and spell out capabilities and goals the pentagon wants to develop which includes:
- The pilot-less drones used for surveillance and attack missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan — on priority
- Speeding up the purchase of new Reaper drones
- Expansion of Predator and Reaper drone flights through 2013.
- Expansion of special operation forces, countering weapons of mass destruction and terrorism threats and on cyber security and warfare.
The 2010 budget contains about $128 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. And under the proposals prepared for congress the figure would rise to $159 billion next year. Though Obama has promised to withdraw forces from Afghanistan in July 2011 but his advisers have set no time for the war. The Pentagon projects that overall defense spending would be $616 billion in 2012; $632 billion in 2013; $648 billion in 2014; and $666 billion in 2015. Congress sets little store by such predictions, which typically have fallen short of actual requests and spending – says a local newspaper in America.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are expected to testify to Congress about the budget and the policy review in February