Congressman John Murtha thinks some government funds could be more wisely used.
More money should go to the U.S. State Department for U.S. efforts in Africa rather than to the military’s U.S. Africa Command, said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa.
The chairman of the House of Representatives’ defense appropriations subcommittee made his comments Thursday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center after visiting wounded troops and having Thanksgiving dinner with top U.S. military leaders in Europe.
“They should use diplomacy in Africa rather than military,” Murtha said. “We can’t win these wars militarily. Nobody wants us over there. I think Liberia wants us. Nobody else.
“You can’t just throw money at it, and you can’t win it militarily. It has to be done diplomatically. So I’ve been trying to shift money and convince the people that make the decision on where the money goes that more money should go to the State Department for those kind of things.”
President Bush requested $389 million for AFRICOM for fiscal 2009. Earlier this year during the budgetary process, the subcommittee Murtha chairs recommended providing AFRICOM only $80.6 million in funding for fiscal 2009. In the end, AFRICOM’s budget was approved at $266 million.
Vince Crawley, a spokesman for AFRICOM, noted that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already spoken about the need for the State Department to get a bigger share of the funding.
Now does the US or the free world have any reason to be concerned with Africa? There is this one little bit of news, it hasn’t been mentioned too often. Pirates operating out of Somalia. They only seized 40 ships this year and got 25 million dollars in ransom for their work.
You’re right Congressman the US need not worry about Africa or what Somalian pirates do. All those ships containing coming out of the nearby Persian gulf aren’t containing anything vital to the world economy.