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Bush to seek $ 60 billion or more for Iraq
September 04, 2003 21:06 IST
US President George W Bush is planning to seek $ 60 to 70 billion to help cover the mounting costs of reconstruction and military occupation of Iraq, media reports said on Thursday.
Before the Iraq war, US officials had predicted Iraq would be able to pay for the occupation with its oil revenues.
The new budget request serves as an "acknowledgement by the administration that it vastly underestimated the price tag
of restoring order in Iraq and rebuilding its infrastructure," The Washington Post said.
The estimate was disclosed as administration provided details of a draft resolution that would authorise a multinational peacekeeping force under US command in Iraq.
Meanwhile, noting White House spokesman Scott McLellan's statement on Wednesday that some countries like India need a UN imprimatur to contribute troops to Iraq, The Wall Street Journal said: "Bush wants to provide that fig leaf."
"The right kind of non-US forces could help stabilise the country more quickly. A division of Turks, for example,
could slow terrorist incursions along the Iraq-Syria border. A brigade or two of Indians could relieve the US Army around key points in Baghdad," it said in an editorial.
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