State Department to see modest spending increase

  The State Department would receive a modest boost in revenue, in part to offset costs for increased responsibilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

   The administration’s plan calls for $43.4 in funding for the department’s so-called “core” budget, with an additional $8.2 billion for “overseas contingency operations,” which includes civilian-led missions in war zones. Total spending would rise by 1.6 percent over 2012 levels.

   Nearly $5 billion in State Department spending was earmarked for both Iraq and Afghanistan, where the department faces added burdens as a result of withdrawal of U.S. troops. The money would support programs ranging from police and military training to counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics efforts. In Afghanistan in particular, the increased funding would also strengthen ongoing political reconciliation efforts and well as economic development ahead of the departure of combat forces two years from now.

An additional $2.4 billion would support similar programs in Pakistan, according to a State Department fact sheet.

  The 2013 budget includes more spending for Middle Eastern and North African countries undergoing political transition, but also steep cuts in aid for other regions. Assistance for European and Asian countries, for example, would be slashed by 18 percent, reflecting what a department spokesman called a “successful transition of a number of countries to market-based democracies.”

Joby Warrick joined the Post’s national staff in 1996. He has covered national security, intelligence and the Middle East, and currently writes about the environment.

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