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May 02, 2008

Comments

fnord

Eh, whats the fall back position, if the Maliki government screws it up and refuses to play along? A return to the old levels of violence? Is there a contigency plan somewhere, or is this another example of the US breaking their word? "Come to our side, we will give you money"... "Ooops, we were just kidding, now you are unemployed again."?

Zathras

OK, first of all, it's the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The amendment in question was attached to the annual Department of Defense authorization bill, a piece of legislation separate from the appropriations bill providing funding for operations in Iraq (technically, this is an emergency supplemental. Five years into this war, President Bush still has not seen his way clear to request war funding through the normal appropriations process, and Congress has never insisted on paying for the war in this way).

It is possible for the DoD authorization to be attached (as an amendment) to the supplemental, though this is a highly unusual procedure for such a major piece of legislation. Otherwise, though, it would be difficult for Congress to impose this prohibition via the authorization -- at least, to make the prohibition effective before the last months of this year at the earliest.

The American command in Iraq, of course, does not need to wait for Congress to prohibit the use of funds for the SoI groups, and there are good reasons why it should not. However, the reservations I expressed in response to Lynch's post last March seem as relevant to me now as they did then.

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