Background: A Heavy Burden
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JIM LEHRER: Making ends meet in Iraq. President Bush talked of the costs last night in his speech.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Two years ago I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war fought on many fronts and many places. Iraq is now the central front. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there, and there they must be defeated.
This will take time and require sacrifice. Yet we will do what is necessary, we will spend what is necessary to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror to promote freedom and to make our own nation more secure. Our strategy in Iraq will require new resources.
We have conducted a thorough assessment of our military and reconstruction needs in Iraq, and also in Afghanistan. I will soon submit to Congress a request for $87 billion. The request will cover ongoing military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, which we expect will cost $66 billion over the next year.
This budget request will also support our commitment to helping the Iraqi and Afghan people rebuild their own nations after decades of oppression and mismanagement. We will provide funds to help them improve security.
And we will help them to restore basic services, such as electricity and water, and to build new schools, roads and medical clinics. This effort is essential to the stability of those nations, and therefore to our own security. Now and in the future we will support our troops, and we will keep our word to the more than 50 million people of Afghanistan and Iraq.