Holding Pattern

By Jason Sherman / December 5, 2008 at 5:00 AM

The Pentagon has shipped to the Office of Management and Budget a roughly $80 billion war cost spending request that would fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan from spring through September, according to a defense official.

Still, it may be a few more days at the soonest before the package is forwarded to Congress.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates earlier this week said this package -- which, when combined with the $66 billion bridge fund appropriated in October, would bring total FY-09 war costs to roughly $145 billion -- should be sent to lawmakers within the next two weeks.

The reason for the hold-up: Gates, according to the defense official, wants to hear one more time from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, on how much will be required this fiscal year to execute a new strategy in Afghanistan, and ensure the amount is included in the request.