President Bush has approved $25 billion of additional spending for U.S. troops
in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a broader package of Pentagon funding for
the fiscal year 2005, which starts in October.
President Bush says the more than $400 billion of defense spending will help
make America a safer place.
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop
thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do
we. We must never stop thinking about how best to defend our country," the
The new spending includes the president's fourth pay raise for U.S. troops,
along with funding for better satellite communications, three new guided-missile
destroyers, and another attack submarine.
It funds 42 new fighter aircraft, and has $200 million for more unmanned
predator surveillance aircraft, which the president says will be used to track
and hunt America's enemies.
In the last three years, Mr. Bush says, U.S. troops have struck a series
of decisive blows against those enemies by toppling governments in Afghanistan
"America's military is fighting in many theaters, yet always for the same
cause. We seek to preserve freedom and peace for ourselves and our friends," he
Twenty-five billion dollars in emergency appropriations for Afghanistan and
Iraq includes money for more body armor for troops, more armored Humvees, more
fuel, and more spare parts, as well as technical upgrades to Black Hawk attack
helicopters, which Mr. Bush says will allow them to fly more safely into combat.
The defense appropriation also includes $10 billion for systems to protect
against ballistic missiles.
"America and our allies face a deadly threat from ballistic missiles armed
with the world's most dangerous weapons, and we will deploy the technologies
necessary to protect our people," president Bush said.
Support for the U.S. military is a campaign issue in this year's election,
with the president criticizing Democratic challenger John Kerry for voting
against an earlier $87 billion military spending package. Senator Kerry says
he opposed the bill because he wanted those funds to come from the president's
record tax cuts, so as not to further increase the federal deficit.
The White House had originally said there would be no additional funding
request for Afghanistan and Iraq until after the election. But under pressure
from Congress, Mr. Bush included the emergency funding for the two countries,
which he calls the front lines in the war on terror.