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How Pentagon war fund became a budget buster Washington can’t resist

How Pentagon war fund became a budget buster Washington can’t resist

A U.S. soldier attends a change of command ceremony at Oqab base

By Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. troops deployed in battle zones is at its lowest level since before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The contradiction is the legacy of an emergency war fund, started in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, that has become a favorite Washington way to sidestep the impact of fiscal constraints on military spending. The Overseas Contingency Operations account, or OCO, has been tapped to fund tens of billions of dollars in programs with questionable links, or none, to wars, according to current and former U.S. officials, analysts and budget documents.

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