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Obama's Afghanistan war plan: How will he pay for it?

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But the president gave no specifics as to what addressing those costs might mean.

It is probably too late for Congress to consider the extra Afghan expenses this year. Lawmakers are close to final approval of the Department of Defense spending bill for fiscal year 2010, which already includes $130 billion for next year’s Afghanistan and Iraqi operations.

That means the most likely option is for the House and Senate to take up a $30 billion supplemental appropriation for Afghanistan sometime after they return from their holiday break. During the Bush administration, annual costs of the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts largely were funded via such supplementals.

From the left, a push for a war tax

Some liberal Democrats who oppose Obama’s new war strategy have vowed to try to enact a war tax to pay for at least part of this extra cost.

Otherwise, the longer-term costs of continuing conflict in the Afghanistan region could “devour virtually any other priorities that the president or anyone in Congress [has],” said Rep. David Obey (D) of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a war-tax supporter.

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