The Senate has voted unanimously to force the Administration to include the cost of waging operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in its normal Pentagon budget request. For the past five years, the Administration has requested such funding through a series of emergency supplementals. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who introduced the legislation on June 14, said in a statement, “I think we can fund this war—and indeed win this war—while also budgeting for this war.” McCain, backed by the full Senate, maintains that neither the White House nor Congress can make “the tough decisions” to win this war by financing it outside the standard budgeting process. He says this amendment to the Fiscal 2007 defense budget, which is still under discussion in the Senate, “does not seek to prevent any future emergency funding requests for war operations,” … “only those simple costs of doing business.” The latest supplemental brings the total for ongoing war on terror operations to $420 billion.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.