Friday, April 14, 2006


From AP:

The U.S. military has spent just 40 percent of the $7 billion appropriated in 2005 for the training of Iraqi and Afghanistan security forces....

In a report obtained by The Associated Press, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said the Pentagon is spending at a slower rate than Defense Department officials initially expected. As of Jan. 1, the report said, the Pentagon had allocated $2.1 billion, or just 37 percent, of the $5.7 billion in Iraqi training funds for the 2005 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30....

Defense officials had projected they would have spent 75 percent of the money by Jan. 1....

Unbelievable, after all their talk about training troops and police officers -- although allegedly things are getting better:

Army Lt. Col. Michael J. Negard, spokesman for the training mission in Iraq, said ... the pace of spending has picked up since the beginning of the year.

Which means, if it's true, that spending picked up only after the White House looked at Bush's poll numbers and decided it was politically necessary to make some sort of effort to persuade people that the war is going well -- recall this November 30 Bush speech about the importance of training Iraqi forces. In other words, if they're finally spending the money on training, it's only because Bush went below 40% in the polls. If Katrina had missed New Orleans, they might still be sitting on this cash.

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