Bush administration’s $419 billion request, almost 5 percent more than last year, also curtails spending on some weapons systems.
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Next year's request will be the one that translates sweeping changes outlined in the Pentagon's forthcoming quadrennial defense review into money.
Critics say proposed budget severely underfunds critical homeland security efforts, such as border security and local grants.
Congressional sources say the Pentagon will seek a relatively small $100 million increase despite criticism the Army hasn't supplied critical equipment to soldiers in Iraq.
Whoever takes over as the new chief of the intelligence apparatus could learn from the early, faltering steps of the Homeland Security Department.
Paul Wolfowitz says amount of additional fiscal 2006 funding needed "would be a wild guess at this point."
DHS has done a good job of hashing out short-term policy matters, but long-term planning has lagged, says Assistant Secretary C. Stewart Verdery Jr.
Move follows allegations that the Army failed to process hundreds of supplemental life insurance policies for activated Army personnel deployed to dangerous destinations abroad.