President Obama asked the U.S. Congress for increased war funding on Thursday to support “the evolving nature of our military campaign against ISIL and our efforts in Afghanistan,” according to U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
The request comes just days after the U.N. announced that it was investigating U.S. airstrikes in the early morning of Nov. 3 in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which reportedly killed at least 32 mostly women and children, injured 19 more, and destroyed 22 homes.
According to many international law experts, any attack in which civilian casualties can be reasonably suspected must be avoided, and failure to do so constitutes a war crime.
“The loss of civilian life is unacceptable and undermines efforts toward building peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, in a statement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is also reporting that on Monday a U.S.-led airstrike about 25 miles north of Raqqa, Syria, killed at least 20 civilians and injured at least 32 more. This comes as U.S. Central Command admitted on Wednesday it has killed 119 civilians since 2014 in airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, a figure well below estimates of international human rights organizations.
President Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 after promising to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, is currently waging war in 135 countries, according to investigative journalist Nick Turse.
Obama´s request for a budget increase would come on top of almost US$600 billion the U.S. already spends on the military every year, which accounts for more than half of the entire U.S. budget.
President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to raise the military budget by upwards of US$500 billion.