Budget Hearing on Iraq and Afghanistan Reconstruction

The Budget Committee is currently holding a hearing, “The Costs of Military Operations and Reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Watch the hearing live >>


Panel I
The Honorable Gordon England
Deputy Secretary of Defense

Accompanied by:
Tina Jonas
Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

Panel II
Robert Sunshine
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis
Congressional Budget Office

Stuart W. Bowen, Jr.
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

The Honorable Joseph Saloom
Ambassador of the United States and Senior Transition Advisor
U.S. Department of State

The Honorable John A. Gastright, Jr.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Chairman John Spratt gives opening remarks:

Chairman Spratt:
“The Congressional Budget Office says if you began drawing down your forces such by the year 2007, you’d have by the year 2013 about 75,000 troops in theater–and then if you extended that force level of 75,000 troops in theater out over the next 5 years, the cost over 10 years would be 840 billion dollars. That’s a consequential number, it has real trade offs, and that’s why we’re here today.”

Rep. Jim McGovern gets Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England to commit to draw up the costs of various redeployment timelines:

Rep. McGovern: “I think we would like to know what it would cost actually to bring our troops home, with the caveat obviously that obviously we would want to protect the poeple in our embassy and have a force there to respond to Al Qaeda or any other threats, so if we could make that formal request here and if you could get us something in the next 30 days, that would be appreciated.”
Undersecretary England: “So Mr. McGovern, so let me just say, I do understand the request… um… and so I understand the request… and so I accept your request.”