In the news...

July 24, 2013

Congress threatens Afghanistan over U.S. exit taxes

Bradley Klapper
Associated Press

Lawmakers threatened Afghanistan July 23 with severe cuts in foreign aid if President Hamid Karzai’s government institutes an exit tax on American military equipment, food supplies and other goods as the United States pulls most of its troops and much of its property out of the country over the next 18 months.

I have seen some stupid things from that government,î said Sen. Patrick Leahy, who co-sponsored the amendment. ìI have seen some things that make you wonder what universe they live in. But this one just went beyond the pale.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham agreed, calling talk of an exit tax on U.S. property ìridiculousî after a dozen years of American-led stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.

Their threat: To withhold $5 in foreign aid to Afghanistan for every $1 in fees imposed on the United States for repatriating any property.

The levies were described in a June 28 letter to lawmakers identifying almost $1 billion in business taxes and penalties imposed by the Afghan government on contractors supporting U.S. operations. The U.S. special investigator for Afghanistan warned of hundreds of millions of dollars in additional future costs if Congress doesn’t act.

Since 2002, Congress has spent more than $90 billion on humanitarian and reconstruction programs in Afghanistan. That doesn’t include hundreds of billions of dollars more in military costs.

The Afghanistan amendment was attached to the Senate’s 2014 foreign operations bill, which passed an appropriations subcommittee by voice vote Tuesday. It will go to a full Senate vote in the coming weeks.
The bill slashes the State Department’s diplomacy and aid budget by 5 percent from last year, but is far less severe than the 20 percent reduction approved by a House panel last week.

Like the House, the Senate provides full funding for embassy security to guard against any repeat of last year’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya.

However, the Senate maintains payments for several U.N. agencies that the House wants to cut funding for completely. It provides stronger support for global climate change programs, international financial institutions, development efforts and disaster relief.

The Senate’s bill proposes spending of $50.6 billion.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>