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Clinton, Gates Seek $37.5 Billion More

Most of the request for extra funding from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates would go toward operations in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have requested an extra $37.5 billion from Congress to fund military and civilian operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.

The Pentagon is seeking $33 billion of the request, and most of the total amount would go toward funding operations in Afghanistan.

Clinton said the supplement, which goes beyond the White House’s original funding request, would help the United States achieve its goals in all of what she called "frontline states."

"Our request addresses urgent demands that will advance our efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan and ensure a smooth transition to a civilian-led effort in Iraq," she said.

In Afghanistan, Clinton said, the funds would be used to facilitate civilian integration in security forces as well, along with support for agriculture and infrastructure projects, local governance, and women's initiatives.

She also said that the money would be used for increased oversight of multibillion-dollar reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Gates said some of the funds would be used for increased training of Afghan forces, which would help the United States stay on target to begin withdrawing from the country in July 2011.

He urged lawmakers to approve the request by early spring.