US President Barack Obama has asked Congress for more than $65 billion in war funds for the next fiscal year.
The president sent lawmakers a series of budget amendments on Thursday requesting $58.6 billion to fund the war in Afghanistan and $7.3 billion for global “security programs” run by the State Department.
The total includes new requests to support European security and a new counterterrorism fund to combat terrorists across the Middle East and Africa.
Republicans in Congress insist there should be a debate on how the funds will be used and some lawmakers have indicated they will not rubber stamp the president’s request.
The funding, known as Overseas Contingency Operations, was created to fund the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in recent years has been used to pay for other operations.
The White House said the new fund will pay for “critical missions” in the region including “counterterrorism.”
Obama asked Congress for $500 million to arm and train militant groups fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In efforts to stem the ongoing crises in Syria and Iraq, the Obama administration has launched a new strategy that observers say could be risky for the US and its Mideast allies.
Secretary of State John Kerry completed days of high-stakes Middle East diplomacy on Friday in which he pressed the militants in Syria to help roll back terrorists from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
ISIL grew out of the Syrian insurgency and controls wide swaths of territory in Syria and this month seized key cities and towns across northern Iraq.
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