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Pentagon seeking $99.7 billion more

Budget for Iraq and Afghan wars could reach $170b

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon wants the White House to seek an additional $99.7 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to information provided to the Associated Press.

The military's request, if embraced by President Bush and approved by Congress, would boost this year's budget for those wars to about $170 billion.

Military planners assembled the proposal before the president had said a troop surge in Iraq was under consideration.

Overall, the war in Iraq has cost about $350 billion. Combined with the conflict in Afghanistan and operations against terrorism elsewhere, the cost has topped $500 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

The additional funds, if approved, would push this year's cost of the war in Iraq to about $50 billion over last year's record. In September, Congress approved an initial $70 billion for the current budget year, which began Oct. 1.

A description of the Pentagon request was provided by a person familiar with the proposal who asked for anonymity because the person was not authorized to release the information.

The cost of the war has risen dramatically as the security situation has deteriorated and more equipment is destroyed or worn out in harsh conditions. The Army, which has borne the brunt of the fighting, would receive about half of the request, a reflection of the wear and tear that the war has had on soldiers and their equipment.

An additional $9.8 billion is being sought for training and equipping Iraq's and Afghanistan's security forces.

The administration's request for more Iraq money will be submitted along with Bush's budget in February for the 2008 budget year, which starts next Oct. 1. The White House can add or subtract from the Pentagon request as it sees fit.

The budget request includes:

$41.5 billion to cover costs of ongoing military operations.

$26.7 billion for replacing and repairing equipment.

$10 billion for body armor and other equipment.

$2.5 billion to combat roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices.

$2.7 billion for intelligence.

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