In his opening statement, Gates (before Congress on March 2nd 2011) fervently appealed for funds requested by Gen. David
Petraeus for equipment to protect troops in Afghanistan. The money has been held up because it would be taken from a
project benefiting a major contributor to the committee chairman, Bill Young, R-Fa.
"Mr. Chairman, our troops need this force-protection equipment, and they need it now," Gates pleaded. "Every day that goes
by without this equipment, the lives of our troops are at greater risk."
He urged action "today" on the funds, admonishing: "We should not put American lives at risk to protect specific programs
Gates warned that the military would "face a crisis" if Congress continues to fund the government with short-term spending
resolutions, or if it enacts the spending bill recently passed by House Republicans. (L.A. Times 3/6/2011) Gates said it
would leave the military unable "to properly carry out its mission, maintain readiness and prepare for the future."
But the members of Congress could not function at such a high level of thought.
Gates couldn't get the lawmakers to agree to his urgent request to shift $1.2 billion in Pentagon funds to protect soldiers' lives in Afghanistan. He asked for the money a month before, but Young's committee hadn't acted.
Because Young objects to the money being taken away from the Army's Humvee program. Never mind that the Army has more
Humvees than it wants. They are manufactured by AM General - which happens to be Young's third-largest campaign
contributor. Its executives have funneled him more than $80,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Gates told Young that his delay was putting lives at risk, but the gentlemen from AM General was unmoved.
WHY ARE WE STILL AT WAR? FOLLOW THE MONEY....
Republican and Democratic lawmakers invested $161.3 million in companies under contract with the DoD
When you're the world's sole superpower, and you've been bogged down for eight years by pismire adversaries who don't have an air force or a navy or an army or even a defense budget, you're not fighting a "war on terror", you're getting fleeced by Congress and crooked private contractors who are opposed to any "exit strategy".
The State Department's inspector general says bomb-sniffing dogs used in Afghanistan and Iraq aren't being tested properly
and may not be able to detect explosives.
The inspector general said its review found that the companies hired to supply and train the dogs weren't testing them for
the most commonly encountered explosives, increasing the chance of a dog missing a bomb in a vehicle or luggage. That puts
U.S. lives at risk. (The Sun 10/09/2010 AP)
The companies also used expired or contaminated materials for the scent tests.
LA TIMES 3/6/2011 Dana Milbank "Congress earns low reputation"
The Sun 10/9/2010 AP "Bomb-sniffing dog tests fall short"