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.