The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Thursday, September 25

rumsfeld speaks

Defense Link has the Prepared Testimony of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Washington, DC, Wednesday, September 24, 2003 for the Senate Appropriations Committee. He outlines, in general terms, an overall spending plan in Afghanistan and Iraq. Excerpt of the statement:
Iraq’s interim leaders are already taking steps to make Iraq hospitable to trade and foreign investment. Last weekend, Iraq’s finance minister announced sweeping reforms of Iraq’s tax and foreign investment laws. The Iraqi economy will be open to foreign capital and investment, with 100% foreign ownership permitted in all sectors except natural resources. Tariffs on imports will be 5% across the board, except for necessities like food, medicine and clothing-which will be tariff-free.

It is safe to say that, with the implementation of these provisions, Iraq will have some of the most enlightened-and inviting-tax and investment laws in the free world.

But to attract foreign investment, Iraq must have more than just attractive tax and investment laws; it must also have a reasonable security environment.

This is why the President has requested $5 billion to train Iraqis to help defend their country. This includes $2 billion for public safety, including the training of an additional 40,000 police in the next 18 months; $2 billion to train a new three-division Iraqi Army and an Iraqi Civil Defense Corps; and almost $1 billion for the Iraqi justice system. All of these investments are critical to the efforts of General Abizaid, General Sanchez and their troops’ efforts.
Just to clarify, the $87 billion dollars is an emergency supplemental request and is in addition to the Department of Defense appropriations bill passed earlier this week.
The Defense appropriations bill, passed 95-0 by the Senate on Thursday, provides $368 billion overall to the department. The House passed the measure on Wednesday.


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