With a $14 billion dollar budget request for fiscal year 2021, the U.S. military is set to spend its lowest amount on the 18-year long war in Afghanistan in nearly a decade.
The overseas contingency operations, or OCO, funding request for Operation Freedom Sentinel was detailed in the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2021 request released on Monday.
The Defense Department detailed that the OCO budget request for Afghanistan “assumes a drawdown of forces."
The U.S and Taliban are amid peace talks to end the conflict, but negotiations have appeared to bog down over definitions of a potential cease-fire or reduction of violence.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has said the Pentagon is considering reducing the American footprint in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 8,600 troops with or without a deal.
But depending on conditions on the ground and the results of the peace talks the FY21 request for Afghanistan could see an increase in its funding request.
“The Department will work with Congress on any budget adjustments as decisions are finalized,” the budget request reads.
Source: Military Times
BRIEF HISTORY: SINCE 2002, PRESS RESTRICTIONS WERE GRADUALLY RELAXED AND PRIVATE MEDIA DIVERSIFIED. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE PRESS IS PROMOTED IN 2004.
SINCE THEN MORE THAN 30 AFGHANISTAN BASED TELEVISION CHANNELS BOTH TERRESTRIAL AND SATELLITE AND AROUND 100 RADIO FM STATIONS STARTED OPERATION IN THE COUNTRY.
FOREIGN RADIO STATIONS, SUCH AS VOICE OF AMERICA AND BBC WORLD SERVICE, ALSO BROADCAST INTO THE COUNTRY.