Leaked Documents Don't Derail Afghanistan Funding In House

Two days ago in this space, I wondered whether the publication of the classified military papers about the war in Afghanistan, courtesy the anti-war WikiLeaks.org site, would jeopardize congressional funding for the conflict.

It did not.

Last night, the House voted 308-114 to approve President Obama's request for an additional $33 billion to fund his request for an additional 30,000 troops for Afghanistan.

Republicans overwhelmingly supported the bill; 160 of them voted yes, with only 12 voting no.  It was a different story on the Democratic side: 148 yay, 102 nay.

Democrats are torn between supporting their president and knowing that many of their constituents back home oppose the war.

And while the WikiLeaks documents may not have told us anything we didn't already know — that the war is not going well, that Pakistan is duplicitous in its dealings with the U.S. — one gets the sense that there will be an increasing amount of unease on Capitol Hill among lawmakers debating a policy to which few see a promising end.

That's not to say that Congress is about to pull the troops out before the Obama administration's timetable.  Despite the unflattering portrayal of Pakistan in the documents, an amendment yesterday — by Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) — to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Islamabad by year's end attracted only 38 votes.



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