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7 Jan 02. Reports from the USA suggest that U.S. Military chiefs are preparing a shopping list for new equipments totalling $20bn following the success of a number of advanced systems in the Afghan war; this is on top of the already huge $330bn budget earmarked for this year. President Bush is expected to approve this budget which includes the acquisition of extra UAVs, precision-guided munitions and sophisticated battlefield communications systems. In addition the President is expected to announce a $30bn budget to beef up domestic security in the wake of September 11th.

Don Zakheim, the U.S. Undersecretary of Defense, regards 2002 as a crucial year for defense funding, he said, “There is a real necessity to do something we didn’t really address in the last budget, which is ramp up procurement. It’s got to go up.”

Meanwhile, then war in Afghanistan has cost $3bn already with now more than 50,000 troops on the ground and actions continuing in eastern Afghanistan.

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