FY 2006 Supplemental Request Statement before the Senate Appropriations Committee

U.S. Department of Defense Speeches, March 9, 2006 | Go to article overview

FY 2006 Supplemental Request Statement before the Senate Appropriations Committee


As Submitted: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Senate Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC, Thursday, March 9, 2006

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee.

I appreciate the opportunity to join Secretary Rice in discussing the President's supplemental budget request for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror.

A joint appearance of the Secretaries of State and Defense is unusual. That we are doing so today indicates how much success in this Global War on Terror is linked to the capabilities and resources of these two departments.

The security challenges facing our nation in this new century do not, after all, exist in neat bundles that can be easily divided up between departments or agencies.

DoD SUPPLEMENTAL REQUEST:

Let me first outline a few of the details of the Department of Defense's portion of the President's supplemental request.

The President has requested an appropriation of $65.3 billion for this department to fight and win the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. This supplemental request includes priorities such as:

* Paying for ongoing deployments and operations by U.S. forces in the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters ($34.7 billion);

* Continuing to develop Afghan and Iraqi security forces ($5.9 billion);

* Countering the threats posed to our troops by Improvised Explosive Devices ($1.9 billion);

* Continuing the important transformation of the U.S. Army into modular brigade combat teams ($3.4 billion);

* Repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed equipment ($10.4 billion); and

* Reimbursement for the cost of the military response to the terrible earthquake in Pakistan ($60 million).

To underscore the importance of this request, and discuss some of the particulars, we are joined by:

* General Pete Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and

* General John Abizaid, the Commander of U.S. Central Command.

We have been asked why war costs are included in supplemental requests, rather than in the annual Defense Department budget. It is a fair question.

But it is a question that has been answered dozens of times, including by Secretary Rice in her submitted testimony to this committee.

The traditional annual federal budget takes up to 12 months to formulate, then it takes another 8 to 12 more months to pass Congress, and then it takes still another 12 months to execute--a total of close to three years. In war, circumstances on the ground change quickly. The enemy has a brain--and is continuously changing and adapting their tactics.

Bridge and supplemental appropriations are put together much closer to the time the funds will actually be used. This allows a considerably more accurate estimate of costs, and, importantly, much quicker access to the funds when they are needed, without having to go through reprogramming contortions where we are forced to rob other accounts and distort good business practices.

Mr. Chairman, we meet today with our country engaged in what promises to be a long struggle--a conflict which requires that we transform the way the military, and indeed the U.S. government, operates.

The extremists, though under constant pressure and on the defensive, still seek to bring their terror to our shores and to our cities--and to all who oppose their views. These enemies cannot win a single conventional battle, so they challenge us through non-traditional, asymmetric means, using terror as their weapon of choice.

Their current priority is to prevent the successful emergence of democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to force the United States and our Coalition partners to abandon those nations before they are able to fully defend themselves.

They are skillful at manipulating the media. Of course, one of the principal goals of their attacks is to make our cause look hopeless. …

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