Last night on the House floor, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stated that the President’s Emergency Supplemental shows that the United States has forgotten about the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. According to Lee, Bush’s funding plan is supposed to be for both Iraq and Afghanistan yet it calls for a “pitiful” amount of money for Afghanistan, a place where the “Taliban is on the rise.” President Bush’s emergency plan calls for $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, out of which less than 1 percent goes to Afghanistan’s reconstruction.
Lee compared the disproportionate funding levels for Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Lee, we are funding national security for Iraq with $2.1 billion, and for Afghanistan $222 million; the justice system in Iraq gets $919 million, and $10 million in Afghanistan. The electrical system in Iraq is funded at $5.7 billion and $45 million in Afghanistan. She stated that Afghanistan “is devastated. It is a flattened area. When we talk about rebuilding infrastructure, I would think that we would not give shortchange to Afghanistan, which is percolating as the center of focus for Taliban.” Due to the uneven levels of funding for Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s reconstruction, she asked the House for a separate vote on the military costs versus the rebuilding costs.
Regarding security in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times, NATO has decided in principle to expand its presence in Afghanistan beyond Kabul. The final approval for this decision will come at the end of the week.
TAKE ACTION Urge Congress to Increase Funds for Afghanistan