.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, saying U.S. troops are making steady progress in Iraq, is asking Congress for $74.7 billion to pay for six months of combat, humanitarian aid and rebuilding.
The bulk of the request, $53.4 billion, is for what the White House calls ``pure operational activities'' - moving troops and weapons, the costs of combat, and bringing the soldiers home, according to a Bush administration document obtained by The Associated Press.
Bush refused to provide a cost estimate before the attack on Iraq started, asserting there were too many variables to give a reliable price tag. On Monday, five days into the military campaign, the administration tipped its hand, outlining for congressional budget chiefs his spending plans in the form of a ``supplemental'' request.
Bush was formally unveiling the new spending package Tuesday at the Pentagon, and asking Congress to pass it by April 11. He planned to praise U.S. forces for what the White House on Tuesday called steady progress in Iraq.
Meanwhile, a senior administration official said national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was visiting the United Nations Tuesday to discuss humanitarian issues with Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Lawmakers grumbled after a Monday meeting with Bush that they were frozen out of their oversight role on spending, and predicted Bush would soon return asking for more war money.
``This is just the beginning. This is the first down payment, and the American people have the right to know that,'' said Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va.
``I told the president that I was glad to be invited down today to discuss the supplemental bill, but I said that Congress ought to be in at the start of the process and not just brought in at the end to sign the check,'' Byrd said.
A senior administration official said the White House kept its estimates close to the vest because it could only have provided projections that varied widely depending on different scenarios, such as Saddam Hussein's surrender versus full-scale war.
The White House concluded that sharing projections privately with lawmakers would have led to leaks, said this official, who sidestepped a question about why the administration did not want the public to know the war cost estimates.
A supplemental appropriations bill, in effect, is Congress' way of writing a check to cover special emergency or unanticipated expenses not provided for through the regular appropriations process.
Bush tacked aid to various other countries onto the budget request - most of them regional neighbors like Jordan and Israel.
Turkey was once promised $15 billion to let in U.S. troops for a ground war. Turkey refused, and Bush responded by slashing the aid to $1 billion.
Far-flung nations including the Philippines, Colombia and Afghanistan are among the other aid beneficiaries in the budget measure - all tucked under the heading ``Global War on Terrorism'' on an administration summary sheet. In all, Bush budgets $7.8 billion for humanitarian relief, reconstruction and foreign aid.
Homeland security would get $4.2 billion and coalition allies get $1.4 billion. The staunchest of Bush's partners, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was meeting Wednesday and Thursday with Bush at Camp David.
Democrats said they were alarmed at Bush's plan to give broad discretion to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on details of how Pentagon funds will be spent. Bush made a similar request last year, which members of both parties forced him to change and to provide details on how the money would be used.
Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said Rumsfeld ``wasn't appointed to be the U.S. Congress with the power of the purse. ... We're supposed to know what we're doing before we open the purse strings.''
The administration hopes for substantial contributions from other countries for reconstruction, but not in the immediate future.
In their meeting Monday afternoon, Bush asked lawmakers not to overspend or load up his budget request up with other items. In military parlance, the measure is known as C.O.W.S. - Cost of the War Supplement, a senior official noted, adding that the White House hopes it will not be ``milked irresponsibly.''
The White House projects that the package would swell the federal budget
deficit to close to $400 billion for the fiscal year that ends in September.
03/25/03 07:36 EST
NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - Twelve years have passed since the last U.S.-led war with Iraq, but technology has advanced dramatically since then.
In 1990, only about 3 percent of weapons used satellites or other technology for precision guidance. But slightly more than a decade later, when conflict erupted in Afghanistan, 97 percent of the weapons had guidance mechanisms, according to the U.S. military.
The latest technology includes weapon-locating radar systems developed by Raytheon Co. <RTN.N> and software from Lockheed Martin Corp. to coordinate communication between intelligence systems and ground forces.
Following is a snapshot of the weapons that will likely be used in Iraq, and the companies that help make them.
AMMUNITION - Alliant makes 120mm training and tactical ammunition used by the Abrams main battle tank.
BOOSTERS - Solid propulsion strap-on boosters help propel the Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites into orbit. GPS has been vital for helping warfighters communicate.
JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munitions, satellite-based guidance systems mounted on traditional bombs to upgrade them to "smart bombs" that can be dropped from aircraft or launched miles from the target, landing with pinpoint accuracy. The Pentagon ordered 18,840 more JDAM kits last September.
SLAM-ER - Standoff Land Attack Missile - Expanded Response, a long-range missile used by the U.S. Navy, derived from the 1970s era Harpoon anti-ship missile.
APACHE LONGBOW - These multi-role combat helicopters use laser, infrared and other high-technology systems to find, track and attack targets. During Operation Desert Storm, AH-64A Apaches destroyed more than 500 tanks and hundreds of armored personnel carriers.
F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET - Upgraded multi-role fighter, an upgraded version of F/A-18 Hornet with 11 weapons stations.
F-15 EAGLE - Fighter jet that was used to shoot down four MiG-29 fighters in the Balkans war and 33 Iraqi aircraft during the first Gulf War.
The CH-46E - Helicopter also known as Sea Knight, used by the Marine Corps for all-weather day-or-night transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Twelve British and four U.S. soldiers were killed when a Sea Knight crashed in Kuwait on Friday, in the first confirmed fatalities among the forces attacking Iraq.
HELICOPTER ARMOR - Ceramic armor, made of a ceramic plate or tile and supported by fiber-reinforced composite backing, helps protect every U.S. gunship, including the Apache and Black Hawk military helicopters.
BODY ARMOR - Boron carbide body armor is made of the lightest, hardest ceramic known. The chemically inert plates, worn in the front and back pockets of Kevlar vests, help protect vital organs during fighting. The armor saved about 29 lives in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia over the last year, the company said.
LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP.
F-16 FIGHTING FALCON - Workhorse of the world fighter fleet, with 4,200 ordered by 22 countries. Versatile and agile multi-role fighter.
F-117 NIGHTHAWK - First fighter to employ "stealth" technology to avoid radar detection. A U.S. veteran of the 1991 war, it also operates as a bomber. Nighthawks were among the first war machines to see action when the United States began its attack on Iraq.
HELLFIRE - Laser-guided anti-armor missile fired by Army and Marine Corps attack helicopters and land attack vehicles.
PAC-3-The Patriot Advanced Capability missile is a highly agile, hit-to-kill interceptor that provides air defense for ground combat forces. This updated missile-defense system replaces the earlier Patriot PAC-2, which had been used in the 1991 Gulf War with disappointing results.
TBMCS - Theater Battle Management Core System is specialized software used to coordinate communication between intelligence systems and ground forces to help air campaigns.
TOMAHAWK - A stubby-winged, precision-guided, long-range U.S. cruise missile fired from a submarine, destroyer or cruiser. These missiles are being used in Iraq in the current campaign. More than 500 missiles, which cost about $1.4 million each, were fired in the first 24 hours of the Iraq conflict.
FIREFINDER - A long-range, weapon-locating radar system to detect and pinpoint the location of long-range weapons. It can find as many as 10 different weapons within seconds from as far away as 50 km (30 miles)
NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP.
B-2 STEALTH BOMBER - Long-range, multi-role U.S. bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons, which uses a range of technologies to elude radar.
GLOBAL HAWK - The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) provides high-resolution intelligence and surveillance imagery to the Air Force and joint battlefield commanders. It can taxi, take off and fly autonomously, and can change navigation plans during flight.
UNITED DEFENSE INDUSTRIES INC.
BRADLEY FIGHTING VEHICLE, M2A3 - The U.S. Army's primary armored fighting vehicle. The A3 boasts digital electronics, automatic gun target adjustment and digitized command and control capabilities.
HERCULES M88A2 - The army's primary heavy equipment tow truck on tracks. Hercules, which stands for heavy equipment recovery, combat utility lift and evacuation system, can recover and tow a 70-ton M-1 Abrams tank, and cuts by half the number of vehicles and crew needed to move a damaged tank.
PALADIN HOWITZER M109A6 - One of the army's most technologically advanced cannons. The 155mm self-propelled howitzer can compute firing data, select and take up firing positions, automatically unlock and point its cannon, fire the first round in less than 60 seconds and move during day or night.
M1-A2 ABRAMS - The U.S. army's most advanced battle tank, it has top speeds of 40 mph (60 kph). The latest versions have been fitted with devices to protect them from "friendly fire".
ENGINES - GE makes a variety of engines for aircraft as diverse as the B-2 stealth bomber and the F-35 fighter.
ENGINEERED SUPPORT SYSTEMS INC.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL - A Field Deployable Environmental Control Unit (FDECU) pump cools, heats and dehumidifies air for portable shelters. It can also filter air in chemically or biologically contaminated areas. Since its inception in 1998, the company has delivered 10,000 to the U.S. military.
REVETMENT KIT - Protective barriers to shield aircraft, equipment and personnel from small arms fire and shrapnel from heavy artillery. The company in January it received a $6.1 million order for these kits to "address the urgent support requirements for heightened U.S. military operations in the Middle East."
PREDATOR - Unmanned spy plane. The Predator, equipped with Hellfire missiles, was used to track and kill six suspected members of al Qaeda in Yemen.
SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT CORP.
MH-53 "PAVE LOW" - The "Pave Low" is the U.S. Air Force's largest and most powerful helicopter. An MH-35 "Pave Low," converted for special operations at night and in adverse weather, was the first U.S. aircraft said by U.S. officials to be lost in the war against Iraq.
BLACK HAWK - The main U.S. combat helicopter. It can fly more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) with extra fuel pods fitted or can be refueled in flight.
(With additional reporting by Chris Stetkiewicz in Seattle, Andrea Shalal-Esa
in Washington, and Nicholas Phythian in Dubai)
03/24/03 16:39 ET