March 20, 2012

Manchin Opposes Spending American Money to Train Afghan Air Force While U.S. Air Force Faces Cuts

In Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Manchin says: ‘I just believe we should be out of there. Period.’

Washington, D.C. — In a Senate Armed Services Committee today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) questioned Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley and Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz about why the United States is continuing to build up and train the Afghan Air Force while making cuts to our own Air Force. 

“I think you would have to understand why some of us are so upset when we’re cutting our own Air Force by over 200 aircraft by 2013 while we’re building up the Afghan Air Force,” Senator Manchin said. “It’s hard for those of us in West Virginia to understand that logic.”

General Schwartz told Senator Manchin that U.S. resources will continue to be needed to train the Afghan National Security Forces, but that it would not be a combat mission.   

“See, that’s my problem …” Senator Manchin said. “I just believe we should be out of there. Period.” 

In Defense budget hearings for the past several weeks, Senator Manchin has made clear that he believes the United States needs to stop spending precious resources on rebuilding Afghanistan and start rebuilding America. He has also urged military leaders to rely less on expensive overseas contractors and more on the National Guard and the men and women in uniform. 

A webcast of the hearing is available here: