Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Military | Spending | ISIS | James Inhofe | Buck McKeon

Obama Urged to End Military Spending Caps to Fight ISIS

Image: Obama Urged to End Military Spending Caps to Fight ISIS
(DOD/US Air Force/Sgt.Shawn Nickel/EPA/Landov)

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 01:46 PM

With the Pentagon spending $10 million a day to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), two leading Republican lawmakers have called on the Obama administration to eliminate automatic military spending cuts.

"You can't cut the military while we keep asking them to do more," said California Rep. Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, The Wall Street Journal reports.

And Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said, "We need to start rebuilding right now. This is a war, and you've got to win a war."

Since President Barack Obama expanded the airstrikes against the Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria, commonly known as ISIS, the Pentagon's budget is being stretched to the limits, according to the Journal.

And with the escalating fight with the terror group expected to cost billions of dollars in the short-term alone, the military is straining to come up with the funds to finance the fighting, which could continue for months, if not years.

The ISIS crisis will mean that Obama is likely to come under pressure to reach out to Congress while reconsidering the spending cuts imposed on the Pentagon's allocation during a tense budget standoff between the GOP and Democrats in 2011, the newspaper said.

The military is currently using an existing pool of extra wartime reserves, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations funds, which the U.S. has dipped into for the past decade to afford operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the increasing cost of the airstrikes and military advisers in the region could end up costing the Pentagon from $2.4-$6.8 billion a year, and that's without boots on the ground, the Journal noted, citing estimates from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a think tank with close ties to the Pentagon.

On top of the $85 billion the United States has allocated for military spending in Afghanistan this year, Republican lawmakers and Pentagon leaders are calling for a new budget agreement that will end military spending caps, the paper said.

With the deepest military cuts not due to take place until 2016, Republicans are locked horns with Democrats as they demand that domestic programs be slashed instead of the Pentagon's military spending.

"The debate is still locked in the trap that it's been locked in for some time," Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington told the Journal. "The Gordian Knot hasn't changed."

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With the Pentagon spending $10 million a day to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), two leading Republican lawmakers have called on the Obama administration to eliminate automatic military spending cuts.
Military, Spending, ISIS, James Inhofe, Buck McKeon
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2014-46-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 01:46 PM
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