The Bush administration will ask Congress in a forthcoming budget request for $7 billion to $8 billion for security, reconstruction and other projects in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing United States officials.
The efforts are aimed at countering an expected offensive by the Taliban, who were driven from power in 2001 by US forces, the paper said, quoting senior officials.
The administration could seek $5 billion to $6 billion in a supplemental budget request to Congress that would cover a stepped-up effort to train the Afghan military and police as well as improve infrastructure, the agency quoted US officials as saying.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force has some 32,000 troops in Afghanistan and last year encountered some of the worst violence since the 2001 invasion.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was expected on Friday to urge European allies to contribute more development aid to Afghanistan and tell them that this year could be instrumental to subduing the resistant Taliban-led insurgency and advancing reconstruction work, a senior US official told reporters on Wednesday in Brussels.