July 1, 2006  

To the U.S. Senate

For insisting that funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and other requirements of the Long War be included in normal budgets rather than through “emergency” supplemental appropriations. The measure, an amendment offered by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to this year’s defense authorization bill, was passed 98-0, a pretty strong endorsement and a signal to the House of Representatives that it, too, should agree when the matter comes up in conference. The practice of funding the Long War in one-year increments has become a debilitating factor, preventing the Pentagon from making all the long-range plans and program changes that are needed; the only virtue is that “emergency” appropriations weren’t formally accounted for in reckoning the federal deficit. It’s time to think like strategists rather than accountants.