War funds out the wazoo

Dear Editor:

Congress is currently working on President Bush’s $108 billion supplemental appropriation request to fund the continuing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to $108 billion, lawmakers plan to add a bridge fund of $70 billion to provide funds through the end of Bush’s presidency.

Many of our lawmakers say they have to support these supplemental appropriations to “support the troops.” So far, they have approved the $514 billion already spent. But is it really to support the troops or to make contractors richer who in turn give contributions to keep lawmakers in office?

Prior to 2005, war funds were used to deploy troops, transport equipment and buy fuel, spare parts and munitions, etc. Then the Pentagon began using emergency war funds to replace equipment with “newer models” and accelerate purchases of new systems with little justification.

President Bush’s 159-page request for additional war funding lists giving the Pentagon $230 million for an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. In the works since around 1993, this Lockheed Martin jet is still in the development stage and will not be ready for service until maybe 2013.

Another item is $492.5 million to buy the Air Force five CV-22 Osprey aircraft, with a total of 50 CV-22 aircraft to be delivered by 2017.

Also listed is Boeing’s EA-18G Navy plane for $375 million. This attack aircraft may not be operational for at least another year.

Congress needs to start being responsible with our tax dollars and not approve this supplemental appropriation.

Cathleen Krahe



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