Pentagon Demands Record $622 Billion Budget

New York Times | Feb 3, 2007 

The Bush administration is seeking a record military budget of $622 billion for the 2008 fiscal year, Pentagon officials have said. The sum includes more than $140 billion for war-related costs.

The administration is also seeking $93 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, to pay for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the officials said.

The requests are part of the annual budget request to Congress for all federal spending programs. The budget is to be made public on Monday, and Congress will revise it in the coming months.

Together with money for combat operations this year already approved by Congress, the new request would push spending related to Iraq and Afghanistan to $163 billion.

“It is the highest level of spending since the height of the Korean War,” said Steven Kosiak, a military budget expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a policy analysis organization here.

Mr. Kosiak said that in 1952 the United States spent the equivalent of $645 billion in today’s dollars, factoring in inflation, and that in the Korean War military spending exceeded 13 percent of the gross national product. The figure is now 4 percent.

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