Last night on the House floor, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stated that the President's Emergency Supplemental shows that the United States has forgotten about the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. According to Lee, Bush's funding plan is supposed to be for both Iraq and Afghanistan yet it calls for a "pitiful" amount of money for Afghanistan, a place where the "Taliban is on the rise." President Bush's emergency plan calls for $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, out of which less than 1 percent goes to Afghanistan's reconstruction.
Lee compared the disproportionate funding levels for Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Lee, we are funding national security for Iraq with $2.1 billion, and for Afghanistan $222 million; the justice system in Iraq gets $919 million, and $10 million in Afghanistan. The electrical system in Iraq is funded at $5.7 billion and $45 million in Afghanistan. She stated that Afghanistan "is devastated. It is a flattened area. When we talk about rebuilding infrastructure, I would think that we would not give shortchange to Afghanistan, which is percolating as the center of focus for Taliban." Due to the uneven levels of funding for Iraq's and Afghanistan's reconstruction, she asked the House for a separate vote on the military costs versus the rebuilding costs.
Regarding security in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times, NATO has decided in principle to expand its presence in Afghanistan beyond Kabul. The final approval for this decision will come at the end of the week.
5/20/2013 Afghan Violence Against Women Law Blocked in Parliament - On Saturday, the Speaker of the Lower House of Afghan Parliament delayed a vote on the Elimination of Violence against Women law after two hours of vociferous debate between conservative religious and more liberal members of Parliament. . . .
5/20/2013 Walmart, American Retailers Refuse to Join Bangladesh Accord - Walmart, along with 13 other major North American companies, refused to sign a legally binding agreement to improve working conditions for overseas factory workers that manufacture their clothes after a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing an estimated 1300 workers, the New York Times reports.
The agreement requires retailers pay $500,000 to improve worker safety measures over a five year period. . . .