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Report: Obama Trims Afghan War Budget Request

VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama is trimming his funding request for the Afghan war.

The Reuters news agency quotes an unidentified White House aide as saying the president has decreased his request for funding the war in Afghanistan by 10 percent for the 2014 fiscal year budget.  The report says the president reduced his original request from $88.5 billion to $79.4 billion.

The White House issued a statement Friday saying the change was made to account for the drawdown of troops set to begin next year.

The president has set 2014 as the target for withdrawing most of the troops while maintaining sufficient personnel there to support Afghan forces and carry out some operations.

A reporter for VOA's Deewa service says the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is seeing increased traffic as more trucks loaded with military hardware are leaving Afghanistan ahead of the U.S. troop withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department is seeking congressional approval to shift nearly $10 billion of its budget to cover the increased costs of the war in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon request, made late Friday, is larger than the $7.5 billion limit that Congress set for annual transfers between accounts.

It is not clear how Congress will respond to the request.

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