Monday, 23 September 2019
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US Congress

U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton said during today's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2011 budget request of the Department of the Army:

"The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to drive a relentless tempo and although we hope to see some relief soon, the pace has not slackened perceptibly yet. To support this level of activity, the administration has requested a $2.5 billion increase over last year's base budget level for the Army. This would support a 1.4 percent across-the-board military and civilian pay raise and support the Army's continued focus on providing support to military families. I am pleased to see the continued, sustained attention paid to the well-being of our soldiers.

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By Rep Ike Skelton, Chairman, US HOuse Armed Services Committee

In recent weeks, reports from Afghanistan have been largely negative.  We hear that operations in Marjah are not going as expected and the Taliban has begun a campaign of murder and intimidation there; the Kandahar operation has been postponed while the Taliban have been assassinating local government officials; U.S. and coalition casualties are increasing; and in some cases the United States has been contracting with the very warlords who intimidate the people of Afghanistan and undermine our efforts there.

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US House of Representatives approves FY09 Defense Authorization Bill

Congressman Duncan Hunter has been the bane of the life of U K defence esporters. He pushed a protectionist agenda when chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and anglo-US unclassified defence trade relations were kept on a more or less even keel as a result of the sterling efforts of Senator John Warner.

The U.S. House of Representatives has just amended and approved S. 3001, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009, by a vote of 392 to 39.

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Latest Afghan News Round Up compiled by Elayne Jude for Great North News Service

The hand that feeds, energy deals, the Wakkan Kyrgyz, an MP's downfall, Afghan women as poets and police

Revolt in Congress over Afghan exit taxes

US Congress threatened severe cuts in foreign aid if President Karzai's government institutes an exit tax on American military equipment, food supplies and other goods as the United States draws down over the next 18 months.

"I have seen some stupid things from that government," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., co-sponsor of the amendment. "...But this one just went beyond the pale."

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by US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton

I am extremely concerned about the manner in which these documents were leaked and with the recklessness of WikiLeaks in posting them. Our nation's secrets are classified for a reason, and the release of classified documents could put our national security - and the lives of our men and women in combat - at serious risk.

These leaked documents, while troubling, appear to support what I was asserting for years: the war in Afghanistan was not going well, and we needed a real strategy for success. For nearly a decade under the previous administration, our brave war fighters were under-resourced and lacked the direction of a clear strategy. Under the new counterinsurgency strategy implemented earlier this year, we now have the pieces in place to turn things around. These leaked reports pre-date our new strategy in Afghanistan and should not be used as a measure of success or a determining factor in our continued mission there.

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