US President George W. Bush next week will request a $439.3 billion Defense Department budget for 2007, a nearly 5 percent increase over this year, according to senior Pentagon officials and documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.
The spending plan would include $84.2 billion for weapons programs, a nearly 8 percent increase, including billions of dollars for fighter jets, Navy ships, helicopters and unmanned aircraft. The total includes a substantial increase in weapons spending for the Army, which will get $16.8 billion in the 2007 budget, compared with $11 billion this year.
Senior defense officials provided the totals on condition of anonymity because the defense budget will not be publicly released until Monday. The figures did not include about $50 billion that Bush administration officials said Thursday they would request as a down payment for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007. The administration said war costs for 2006 would total $120 billion.
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