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November 20, 2007

Congress' Funding Standoff Must End

Senate Majority Leader Reid has vowed to release no funding for the Iraq War this year unless the Republicans accept his retreat deadlines. That vow has put the mission and our troops in danger.

Last week, I wrote about Secretary Gates' public condemnation of Democratic efforts to force a premature withdrawal and his announcement that if Reid persists in his refusal to support our troops in the field, Gates would have to lay off up to 200,000 people and begin closing stateside facilities in order to pay for the war.

Now, Defense Link reports that the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization will have to curtail operations for lack of funding starting on December 1st.

The anti-IED organization needs the funding to sustain operations and to pay for equipment fielded but not yet turned over to the services for funding, Meigs said. For example, he said, his organization funds the Guardian man-portable jammer, the contractors to service it, and the training in the system.

The organization tests new projects, ideas, ways of doing business and equipment against IEDs. If they prove effective, the organization is nimble enough to quickly can get the equipment to the hands of servicemembers. Meigs said the organization has enough money to keep the lights on through April. The organization is funded via supplemental spending bills.

Attacks with IEDs have dropped since the surge began, but they are still a daily threat to our troops in Iraq. In Afghanistan, attacks with IEDs are up. JIEDDO was once derided as bringing wastefully high-tech solutions to a simple problem. But they've had some important successes including the development of the aforementioned cell-jamming platform.

It is unconscionable that our military is scrambling to find funding while we're in the midst of a war. The Democrats in Congress need to quit playing games and start supporting our troops.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 03:40 AM

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