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Bush Approves $82 Billion in Supplemental Funding

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2005 – President Bush signed into law on May 11 legislation that provides $82 billion in supplemental funding, most of it to help cover the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The measure provides $75.9 billion for the Defense Department, including funds for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Also included are additional protections for deployed troops and new benefits for wounded servicemembers and families of those killed in the war.

The funding "supports new benefits for servicemembers who have suffered traumatic injury and for survivors of fallen servicemembers," Bush said after signing the bill.

It also provides additional border-enforcement resources to "strengthen the nation's ability to prevent foreign terrorists from operating in the United States" and supports tsunami-relief activities in the Indian Ocean, the president said.

The Senate passed House Resolution 1268 May 10 and sent it to the president for signature.

Marine Corps Lt. Col. Rose-Ann Lynch, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the supplemental funding is expected to meet all military requirements for the global war on terror through the end of fiscal 2005.

The package provides $42.6 billion to support requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan and $18.8 billion to ensure the U.S. forces remain well equipped and well structured to fight the global war on terror, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

This includes $13.5 billion to repair, refurbish or replace war-torn military equipment, including funds to improve force protection by adding armor to all convoy trucks and buying armored security vehicles, night-vision equipment and helicopter-survivability systems, officials said.

It also includes $5.3 billion to begin implementing plans to restructure the Army and Marine Corps into more flexible, self-sufficient modular units better able to fight the global war on terror.

The supplemental spending package also provides enhanced survivor benefits, with up to $500,000 in lump-sum payments to survivors of servicemembers killed supporting the global war on terror since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001. This represents a $238,000 increase over the current level, officials noted.

The law also includes a new insurance benefit to provide up to $100,000 for troops who suffer traumatic injuries.

An additional $6.7 billion in funding will accelerate the training of Iraqi and Afghan security forces, including State Department-led training for Afghan law-enforcement agencies. White House officials said this will enable both new governments to begin to assume more responsibility for their security and sovereignty.

Nearly $2 billion will support the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, addressing some of the most critical remaining security and reconstruction needs. This includes $750 million to help combat drug trafficking through a five-part program that includes public information, law enforcement, alternative livelihoods, interdiction and eradication, officials said.

The package provides funding for a permanent U.S. diplomatic presence in Iraq, with $690 million for operations and security for the U.S. Embassy and $592 million for a new, secure facility.

An additional $354 million is provided for the Commander's Emergency Response Program, a successful program that enables U.S. military commanders to assist in small-scale local reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery initiatives in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials said.

Some $1.7 billion is earmarked for coalition partners, and $230 million is included to provide security assistance to nations with troops fighting alongside U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also included is $150 million for the United States' multi-year security-assistance commitment to Pakistan and $300 million in economic and security assistance for Jordan. Support for Sudan, Palestine and Ukraine and for international peacekeeping activities also is part of the package.

In announcing the request in January, Bush said it will help the United States maintain two pledges: to provide U.S. troops "whatever they need to protect themselves and complete their mission," and to stand with the Iraqi people and against their terrorist oppressors.

"This supplemental budget request will fulfill important pledges and again makes clear to terrorists that our resolve is firm and we will complete our mission," the president said.

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