Pentagon wants $33 billion more for war in
The Pentagon's request for a $33 billion war supplemental for
Afghan policemen pose for a picture during a graduation ceremony held at a
The Pentagon wants $33 billion in additional funding to pay for the war in Afghanistan this year and train the Afghan military, but members of Congress want to make sure they’re not writing a blank check.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared before Senate appropriators to defend the war supplemental, which is on top of the $708 billion baseline budget submitted to Congress in February.
Most of the war supplemental – a separate account used to pay for war costs – will pay for
When can US forces leave?
“The question is, how long is that going to have to continue to the point where we can kind of say we’ve done our thing,” asked Sen. George Voinovich (R) of Ohio. “Five years, ten years, 15 years?”
That question is atop many lawmakers minds as they consider what the Obama administration has said from the start will take years to accomplish.
Despite contributions from NATO countries, that still leaves the
While President Obama has pledged to begin removing American troops from
“We are in this intense phase that will be several years,” Ms. Clinton said in answer to Mr. Voinovich’s question. “Obviously, I don’t know that either of us could put a timeline on it. What we’re trying to do simultaneously is clear territory from the Taliban, be able to work more closely with the Afghan army, and at the same time create more capacity.”
Although NATO allies contribute to the training effort –
US commanders concerned about Afghan forces
“I know many of you have concerns about the Afghan security forces,” Mr. Gates said in his opening statement. “I share those concerns, as do our military commanders.”
Gates noted that the Afghan army has made “real progress” over the last year, and that many Afghan soldiers are making enormous sacrifices for their country. But Gates emphasized that the
“As you consider this request, I would emphasize that successfully accomplishing the training mission represents both our exit strategy and the key for long-term stability in
But as a reminder of the cost of training indigenous militaries, the $33 billion funding request includes $1 billion still needed to strengthen Iraqi security forces, a force many consider to be all but fully trained as the
Gates said the money will help to “ensure that the Iraqis are fully prepared to assume internal security responsibilities.”
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs