Breakdown in Iraq, breakdown back home

The Central Command says conditions are moving closer to "chaos" than to "peace."


Tim Grieve
November 1, 2006 7:30PM (UTC)

Just as the U.S. Central Command warns that Iraq is moving closer to "chaos" than to "peace," the Air Force is asking the Pentagon to help it obtain $50 billion in "emergency" funds for fighting the broader "war on terror." A defense analyst tells Reuters that the size of the request -- it's equal to about half of the Air Force's annual operating budget -- "hints at a basic breakdown in the process for planning and funding war costs."

Why does the Air Force need the extra money now? One "source familiar with the Air Force plans" tells Reuters that the money would help pay to transport the ever-increasing number of U.S. soldiers being injured and killed in Iraq. The war claimed the lives of 105 American soldiers in October, making it the deadliest month since January 2005 and the fourth straight month in which the U.S. death toll has increased. At least 2,817 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.

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Over the weekend, George W. Bush recommitted himself and his country to a "partnership" with the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, saying in a joint statement with Maliki that the two governments would "work in every way possible for a stable, democratic Iraq and for victory in the war on terror." How's the cooperative approach working out? In Iraq Tuesday, U.S. troops were forced to abandon a blockade they had erected around Sadr City. The troops had closed off the Shiite area in the hopes of finding a missing U.S. soldier and a man thought to be the leader of an Iraqi death squad, but Maliki -- the man with whom Bush is working so closely -- ordered the barricades removed Tuesday in an expression of Iraqi sovereignty.

But remember: John Kerry is the one who has insulted U.S. troops.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

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Iraq Iraq War Middle East War Room

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