How much money will Obama want for Afghanistan troops?

 

The White House on Wednesday said it still trying to figure out how much money it will need for Afghanistan as troop levels greatly diminish. 

Lawmakers have been waiting for the Overseas Contingency Operations request from the administration. The Senate Armed Services Committee blamed the lack of a request last week on its decision to not include funding in its 2015 Defense authorization bill.

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On Wednesday, the White House said it was still finalizing its request. It said it would need $5 billion for a "Counterterrorism Partnership Fund," but otherwise did not suggest how much money it will need in 2015. 

The White House said the request “will reflect a continued downward trajectory of war-related spending,” according to a White House fact sheet released Wednesday. 

It did not say when the request would be finalized, although President Obama is expected to discuss wartime funding in a speech Wednesday at West Point.

The White House spent $79.4 billion on war spending in 2014.

There will be fewer than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, and that number will be cut in half next year.

The White House said the counterterrorism fund will “build on existing tools and authorities,” and allow the U.S. to pursue a “more sustainable and effective approach to combating terrorism that focuses on empowering and enabling our partners around the globe.”

The new fund will help the Pentagon expand its training and equipping of foreign militaries, something the administration said would help “our partners on the front lines.”

The White House fact sheet said the overall request, once it is made, will “fully support the administration's plan for Afghanistan,” including the U.S. advisory and counterterrorism mission, support for NATO allies in Afghanistan, and financial support of the Afghan security forces. 

The funds will also continue to support a “significant portion of our military presence in the region,” the statement added. 

The fund would also include “transition funding to support our ability to enable partners to counter terrorism globally.”

—Article updated at 9:58 a.m.