Gates' Supplemental Plea

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So much for the "end of supplementals"...

Yesterday, I saw that InsideDefense.com had reported a letter sent by Def Sec Gates to Hill armed services committees asking for $69 billion through summer for the GWOT/Iraq/Afghanistan fight -- not including any Afghan "surge."

We were forwarded the full report by DT friend Ned Conger, and we're trying to track down the letter and charts from our Hill sources.

Here's part of what they wrote:

Funded in Gates' estimate are $10.8 billion for force protection to buy body armor, armored vehicles, and lighter Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles; $1.5 billion for efforts to counter roadside bombs; and $3.6 billion to fund intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance initiatives -- efforts the defense secretary has designated as high priorities.

As expected, the estimate includes $600 million to buy four F-22 fighters for the Air Force to replace one F-15 and three F-16s, according to a Pentagon chart accompanying Gates' letter to lawmakers. Congress in the past has been unwilling to fund new fighter aircraft purchases using supplemental appropriation bills.

In addition, the spending proposal includes $2.3 billion to train the Afghan national security forces; $1.3 billion to buy equipment -- including aircraft, vehicles, and engineering equipment -- and fund training for the Afghan army; $400 million to bolster Pakistan's counterinsurgency capability; and $1.4 billion to reimburse Pakistan, Jordan and other key nations for their support to U.S. military operations, according to the Pentagon chart. The request also includes $400 million for the Commander's Emergency Response Program and $1.3 billion for military construction projects, including those to support realignment of U.S. forces into and within Afghanistan.

The estimate includes $7.5 billion to modify AH-64 attack helicopters and CH-47 cargo helos as well as mine protection vehicles. Also in the mix is funding to recapitalize High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles, trainers, tractors and explosive ordnance disposal equipment, according to the chart.

(Gouge: NC)

-- Christian

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