The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Wednesday, October 1

more details

Well. They’ve done it now, Ollie. The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed the initial $87 billion dollar spending supplemental.
The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed Bush's full request for military and reconstruction spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the panel put off the tough fights, and even some Republicans on the committee predicted a difficult fight on the Senate floor, especially over proposals to fund Iraq's rebuilding through loans, backed by Iraqi oil.
For once, bpost actually agrees with Ahmed Chalabi who we caught today on NPR. The money would be far better used as grants to local Iraqi businesses and workers than just payouts to US companies who turn around and subcontract.

Bpost also believes the $66 billion in military spending is a mistake. If one lesson can be learned thus far, it is that military spending is wide open for abuse. We’d swap the numbers: $20 billion for military spending and $66 billion for grants and humanitarian assistance.

Why? For beginners, the Department of Defense does not now fully account for its spending where as both the USAID and the State Department DO. Seems obvious to us at bpost any cuts should be coming from the DoD side of the budget. It also would act as impetus to get the White House moving to patch things up with the UN and her international partners. Of course, all of the war profiteering doesn’t help matters and most countries now expect payoffs in exchange for participation. The US needs to back off its control issues, share the wealth and the debt, and get as much help to Iraq as possible.

But then, nobody has asked us.
Oil Industry: $2.1 billion
To upgrade Iraq's oil industry
$900 million to import petroleum products kerosene and diesel
$55 million for a rapid pipeline repair team

Power: $5.7 billion
To rehabilitate and upgrade Iraq's electric power infrastructure
$2.9 billion upgrading power generation

Security: $4.2 billion
To fund and equip the new Iraqi police, military and constabulary forces
$2 billion for a new 40,000-member Iraqi Army
$800 million a corps of 1,500 international police trainers
$400 million construction of (2) 4,000-bed maximum security prisons
$200 million to secure judges and courthouses from terrorist attacks
$164 million a new curriculum for training for an Iraqi army
$150 million for a nationwide 911 system
$137.2 million for helicopter and medium airlift planes
$100 million for a witness protection program
$100 million for experts to investigate crimes against humanity
$50 million outlays for traffic police
$10 million for prison building experts for 6 months
$8 million for the personal security of the Iraqi oil minister and his director generals
$6 million to send promising Iraqi officers to overseas academies
$3.6 million for 600 radios and phones
$2.6 million for 80 pickup trucks

Water: $3.7 billion
To upgrade water and sewer systems
$875 million for rehabilitation of irrigation systems and restoration of wetlands
$50 million irrigation culverts on the Euphrates River

$303 million to restart Iraq's railroads
$240 million to fix roads and bridges
$165 million to upgrade airports
$10 million training for air traffic controllers

$393 million to refurbish 200 of Iraq's remaining 240 hospitals
$150 million state-of-the-art children's hospital
$100 million to build 7 planned communities of 3,258 houses
$54 million study for Iraqi postal service for a nationwide zip code system
$40 million for a $333-a-month computer training course
$20 million for business training for 200 students
$15 million to fund an Iraqi human rights office
$4 million to create a nationwide system of area codes and telephone numbers
$2 million for garbage trucks

US Military Expenses: $66 billion
$800 million to cover expenses incurred by other nations sending troops
$345 million for soldier’s housing units
$300 million to buy more body armor
$140 million for armored Humvees
$20 million for hellfire missiles
$13 million for mobile x-ray searching units

According to Iraq’s public works minister, Nesreen Barwari, $8 billion is needed to provide new infrastructure for safe drinking water. See U.S. Tells How Billions of Dollars Would Rebuild Iraq By Vernon Loeb, Washington Post, September 25, 2003.

An earlier report on the condition of Iraq’s power infrastructure shows a need for $18 billion dollars worth of repair, upgrade, and new construction just to meet current demand. See Crossed Wires Deprived Iraqis of Electric Power by Rajiv Chandrasekaran in the Washington Post, September 25, 2003.

GOP to Closely Examine $87B War Request
By Alan Fram
Associated Press
September 18, 2003
The Miami Herald

US Postwar Costs most expensive since Marshall Plan
By Richard V. Stevenson
New York Times
September 9, 2003
International Herald Tribune

US Budget Request for Additional FY04 Funding for War on Terror
Weekly Special Report
Office of the Press Secretary
Fact Sheet
September 8, 2003

GOP Finding Iraq War Request a Tough Sell
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post
October 1, 2003

In GOP, Concern Over Iraq Price Tag
By Jonathan Weisman and Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post
September 25, 2003

U.S. Tells How Billions of Dollars Would Rebuild Iraq
By Vernon Loeb
Washington Post
September 25, 2003

Bush’s $87 Billion Request Detailed
By Esther Schrader and Janet Hook
Los Angeles Times
September 18, 2003


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