Defense of compromise bill unveiled with sharp increase in spending allowed
The bill would also extend the cooling-off period for former military officers to serve as duty secretary from five to seven years.
The bill also includes a proposal, led by Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., To create an independent war commission in Afghanistan to examine the full history of the failures of the US government over two decades of conflict. Anyone in a decision-making or policy-making position regarding Afghanistan would not be eligible to serve on the 16-member panel, so it would not include former generals, anyone who served in Congress at any time. time during the war or any former high ranking administration officials whose portfolios included Afghanistan.
Representatives Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., and Rob Wittman, R-Va., Who pushed for a thorough review of the US troop withdrawal, culminating in the chaotic scenes of last summer at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, issued a joint statement praising the inclusion of some of their provisions.
“It’s absolutely essential that we have an objective and thorough examination of America’s longest war to ensure that the United States never makes the same mistakes it did in Afghanistan again,” Stefanik said. “Through the establishment of this commission, the American people will benefit from critical surveillance for the sake of our national security.”
The bill would support the purchase of 85 F-35 fighter jets for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, just as the Pentagon has requested, and increase funding for maintenance. The measure would also require a number of reports to Congress on the F-35, including from the Secretary of Defense, which detail the aircraft’s maintenance costs and his plan to reduce those costs.