Antiwar congressman and activists who played a key role in Mr Obama's election campaign criticised him for deploying the same "off the books" funding tactic that were introduced by his predecessor George W Bush.
Mr Bush was accused of trying to mask the overall cost of the two conflicts – which now stands at virtually $1 trillion - by funding them via annual "emergency" supplements rather than through the usual budgetary process.
The White House says the request, placed on Thursday evening, was needed to secure funding for the current fiscal year and that it will be the last made in this form before the first Obama budget kicks in.
"This will be the last supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan. The process by which this has been funded over the course of the past many years, the president has discussed and will change," said Robert Gibbs, the president's spokesman....
Mr Obama also requested $350 million in new funding to upgrade security along the US-Mexico border and to combat narcoterrorists, along with another $400 million in counterinsurgency aid to Pakistan.
Why use a defense supplemental of $83.4 Billion now?
Simple. Because President Obama's regular defense budget already shows a 4% increase over President Bush's previous budget, and he couldn't very well include it there, could he?
But didn't he sort of, ah, ... promise ... that he would include operational costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the regular defense budget so as not to hide the true costs?
Yeah, he did.
This is sort of like the I-won't-have-any-lobbyists-in-my-administration promise and the I-will-restore-Constitutional-protections-for-civil-liberties promise, both of which have been trashed in the first three months of the new administration.