Dan Froomkin @ The Huffington Post - Members of Congress with any inclination to balk at President Obama's massive emergency war-funding request have found their case strengthened by two recent reports that question many of the administration's key premises and assumptions.
The reports from the Congressional Research Service and Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction raise concerns ranging from the existential to the procedural.
Just for starters, there's the lack of an exit strategy, signs of a slipping timeframe for troop drawdowns and the mixed results thus far of the troop "surge." There's also the matter of seemingly unrealistic goals for training Afghan security forces, poor planning of infrastructure projects, pervasive corruption within the Afghan government and the lack of contracting oversight. Finally there's the concern that some of the individual funding requests seem inflated, in certain areas the Pentagon isn't spending the money it already has and billions of dollars in requests don't appear to genuinely qualify as emergency spending -- the only thing Obama vowed he would ever use an emergency spending bill for again.
The Senate is expected to vote on the budget request this week, and possibly even as early as Monday. The House is expected to vote after the Memorial Day break. Read more.