Roughly $6 billion that was either approved or will be approved for Afghan military training is now up for grabs after Kabul’s collapse last week, and the jockeying among lawmakers to find a new home for that money has begun.
The numbers include almost $3 billion unspent from fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and $3.3 billion requested by the Pentagon to train and equip the Afghan army, air force and national police in 2022.
There’s gonna be a food fight,” said Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee. “A whole lot of people have been looking at that money now.”
The new wrinkle comes as pressure mounts on the House to back a significant increase in military spending after the Senate tacked an extra $25 billion onto President Joe Biden’s proposed defense budget.
House Armed Services slashed nearly all of the Pentagon’s $3.3 billion request for Afghan forces in 2022 in a draft full committee version of the defense bill obtained Wednesday by POLITICO, though exactly how and to what accounts the panel parceled out the money is unclear.