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COIN Contradictions | The Nation

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Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

Nation editor-at-large and host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.

COIN Contradictions

From Greg Kaufmann:

One problem with the Obama Administration's "Af-Pak" strategy -- aside from the lack of an exit strategy, air strikes, and a cost that threatens its domestic agenda -- is the fact that the allotment of resources consistently contradicts General Petraeus' own stated counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy. Petraeus says 80 percent of expenditures should go towards non-military purposes like economic development, and only 20 percent to the military. Yet the $106 billion supplemental approved yesterday by the House handed over nearly 90 percent of the funds to the military.

 

Representative Mike Honda -- Chair of the Asian Pacific American Caucus and a Progressive Caucus member -- homed in on that fact in his good statement explaining his vote against the supplemental yesterday (full statement here):

"… I cannot support the continuation of the Bush Administration's failed modus operandi in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, and the mis-proportioned 90-10 doctrine of assistance allocation – that is, 90% for military investments and only 10% for political, economic, and social development. The Supplemental represented our first opportunity to correct the failed approaches of the past, but we unfortunately did not use this chance."

"Going forward, I hope that I can work closely with the President to ensure a policy more aligned with the 80-20 model often quoted by General David Petraeus, which would invest 80% of resources into political capacity and institutions with only 20% for military. In this regard, I have presented specific recommendations to my colleagues in Congress, with the intention of informing and improving US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I was pleased to hear in my April meeting with the President that his FY2010 budget request will move in this direction."

Hopefully, Rep. Honda and others -- especially the 80-member Progressive Caucus -- will hold President Obama to that pledge moving forward. Too many let him off the hook yesterday.

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