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Building on Reform: The Defense Department is asking Congress for $708 billion in Fiscal 2011, a base budget of $548.9 billion and $159.3 to fund military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq next fiscal year. Added to this record-high total is a Fiscal 2010 supplemental request for $33 billion to cover the costs of the ongoing troop surge in Afghanistan. The base budget request represents an increase of $18.2 billion over the enacted defense appropriations in Fiscal 2010. This is a real increase of 1.8 percent after factoring for inflation, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday in the Pentagon. He said the new spending proposal builds on the reforms begun last year to reshape the US defense establishment and enhance the US ability to fight and prevail in the current wars in Southwest Asia and reinforce realism in how the DOD approaches risk and how it uses its resources. Continue