Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said he has concerns on the House Armed Services Committee’s defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2017 that would move $18 billion from the overseas contingency operations budget to the Defense Department’s base funding, DoD News reported Wednesday.
“It’s gambling with warfighting money at a time of war — proposing to cut off our troops’ funding in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in the middle of the year,” Carter said in a testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subpanel.
“It would spend money on things that are not DoD’s highest unfunded priorities across the joint force,” he added.
Jim Garamone writes Carter told the Senate committee about the Pentagon’s efforts to counter the Islamic State militant organization.
These include plans to deploy 250 additional military personnel in Syria and 215 additional advisers in Iraq as well as field AH-64 Apache helicopters in support of the Iraqi forces’ offensive campaign in Mosul.
Carter also noted the need to invest in technology platforms that will work to help the U.S. counter the challenges posed by violent extremism, Russia, Iran, China and North Korea across land, air, sea, cyber, space and electronic warfare domains, Garamone reports.