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Obama Asks Congress For $11.6 Billion More For Iraq, Afghanistan Battles


Some of the Afghan military's helicopters are Russian-made. U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking funds to modernize the fleet.

Some of the Afghan military's helicopters are Russian-made. U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking funds to modernize the fleet.

U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for an additional $11.6 billion to fund the fights against militants in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The request seeks an additional $5.8 billion for Pentagon military operations in Afghanistan and for the campaign against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria. An additional $5.8 billion was requested for the State Department and United States Agency for International Development "to counter extremism."

Part of the money would be used to modernize the Afghan military's helicopter fleet and to pay for elevated U.S. troops levels of 8,400 in Afghanistan.

Congress is due to return from election campaigning for a "lame duck" session likely centered on such funding legislation before the newly elected Congress starts in January.

U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he would review the request, but believes it is too low.

"The amount still does not accommodate the increased pace of operations against ISIL and does nothing to begin addressing the readiness crisis," Thornberry said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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