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Defense Budget

Bush budget expected to increase defense spending

While President Bush's budget is expected to contain significant cuts for some federal programs, the Pentagon's budget is expected to increase -- by about 20 billion dollars. That figure is deceptive, though. The 20 billion dollar increase applies only to the base line budget -- the programs and expenses that would still exist if there were no war on terror. Costs associated with the war, with continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, are contained in a separate, supplemental budget request. Those costs are expected to total about 80 billion dollars. The Pentagon is expected to make that separate budget request public later this week. The budget being released today is also expected to contain big changes in the makeup and structure of the Army and the Marines. Special Operations forces, which have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan, will get more money and more manpower.

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