Bush will Pentagon-Budget weiter nach oben schrauben

--- Das passt ja mal wieder wie die Faust aufs Auge: Während die fesche Condi in UK und Deutschland herumreiste und als neue Top-Diplomatin die Gemüter wegen eines eventuell geplanten Angriffs auf den Iran zu beruhigen suchte, will Bush das Pentagon-Budget schon wieder -- trotzt leerer Staatskassen -- recht kräftig erhöhen: Seeking to bolster and reshape the Army and Marine Corps but hold the line on spending for new weapons systems, the Bush administration will ask Congress on Monday to boost Pentagon spending to $419.3 billion in 2006, an increase of 4.8%. The budget request, which will not include money for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, reflects a mandate by the White House to cut spending on military programs not directly related to the war in Iraq or the fight against terrorism. Last February, the Pentagon estimated it would need $424 billion in 2006 and $445 billion in 2007. The request being presented Monday is for less than that estimate, but is still about $19.2 billion more than the Pentagon's $400.1-billion budget this year. But the Pentagon does not plan to stick to its spending diet over the long term, according to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times and analysts familiar with the budget. The Pentagon's request for procurement money, used for new technology and weapons, is a relatively modest $78 billion for next year — a cut of $100 million from its current budget. But that number would climb rapidly in future years, to $118.6 billion in 2011. Overall, Pentagon spending would hit $502.3 billion in 2011, under current forecasts. The reduced rate of growth in 2006 is part of a White House effort to shrink the federal deficit.