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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 16, 2006
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
February 16, 2006
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Today, I am submitting a request for Fiscal Year 2006 supplemental appropriations of $72.4 billion for ongoing military and intelligence operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and selected other international activities. These funds support U.S. Armed Forces and Coalition partners as we advance democracy, fight the terrorists and insurgents, and train and equip Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their sovereignty and freedom. Already more than 35 Iraqi battalions have assumed control of their own areas of responsibility. This request provides the resources necessary to continue that effort so the Coalition can continue to hand over control of more territory to Iraqi forces.
In Afghanistan, our Armed Forces continue to track down terrorists, help the Afghan people rebuild their country, and train and equip Afghan security forces so that Afghanistan may continue to take control of its democratic future. Our coalition has trained many thousands of Afghan soldiers and police. These forces are risking their lives to fight our common enemy. This request provides the resources necessary to continue the train and equip effort so Afghan forces can eventually provide for the security of their own citizens.
The request includes funds to confront the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices and to improve the protection of our forces. In addition, the request addresses the need for substantial investment to repair or replace equipment worn out or lost in military operations. It also provides additional funding to cover the costs of restructuring the Army and Marine Corps into more agile, self-sustaining units that provide increased combat effectiveness critical to winning the Global War on Terror.
The request includes bonuses and incentive pay to properly compensate American troops for the sacrifices they make in defense of freedom. It also includes funds to cover enhanced benefits for survivors of all military members and provides for newly authorized benefits for those injured in combat.
The request also provides funds for the extraordinary security and operating costs associated with supporting U.S. diplomatic activity in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The request includes funds to help create political and economic stability in post-conflict areas, help Iraqis protect and sustain their infrastructure, and build Iraqi capacity at the national and provincial levels for better, more responsive, and transparent governance. The request also supports the successful Commander's Emergency Response program that enables military commanders to respond to urgent, small-scale, humanitarian relief and reconstruction needs in their area of responsibility. These counter-insurgency and stabilization activities help build civilian capabilities to ensure the transition to greater Iraqi self-reliance. Coupling increased civilian capacity with increased military capacity is essential to sustained progress in all realms -- security, political, and economic -- and is essential to neutralizing the insurgents and defeating the terrorists.
Finally, the supplemental requests funds for urgent, unanticipated needs to help relieve human suffering associated with a number of humanitarian crises, including Sudan and other parts of Africa, assistance for refugees, and the costs of humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts in response to the devastating earthquake in Pakistan. The request also includes funding to address urgent democracy-promotion activities in Iran.
I hereby designate the specific proposals in the amounts requested herein as emergency requirements. This request reflects urgent and essential requirements. I ask the Congress to appropriate the funds as requested and promptly send the bill to me for signature. The details of the request are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
GEORGE W. BUSH
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