Gates: Congress Hurting Afghan Civilian Aid Effort

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates is calling
for a "change in attitude" on Capitol Hill in getting more
civilian help in Afghanistan.

Gates told an audience in San Francisco that resources given to
the State Department for work in the war zone are "woefully
inadequate" and that Congress is "part of the problem."

Gates noted that lawmakers approved the entire $550 billion
budget he asked for this year, but shaved a few billion off the $50
billion Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had requested.

The Pentagon chief said there now are about 1,000 State
Department and U.S. Agency for International Development workers in
Afghanistan but it was "critically important" hat more attention
be given the diplomatic part of the Afghan effort.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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