2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 9 Jul 2003 14:58:51 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
News from:

July 8, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Kathie Eastman  (503) 231-2300/(503) 231-2661

Proposes Shifting Funds from Highly Questionable Research
To Help Protect Troops and Civilians

Washington, DC – During debate today on the House floor over the fiscal
year 2004 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill Congressman
Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) highlighted critical funding shortfalls in
addressing cleanup of unexploded ordnance (UXO), proposing to shift
funds from the controversial and questionable missile defense program to
fund cleanup of UXO.  UXO includes bombs, missiles, and landmines that
have been used for combat or training but did not explode or which have
been buried for disposal.

“UXO threatens our troops and American citizens today,” Blumenauer
said.  “Missile defense purports to protect us from an imagined threat
far in the future.  Our research priorities should reflect today’s
realities, not science fiction.”

Blumenauer proposed amending the DOD bill to provide $100 million for
Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation of technologies to clean up
unexploded ordnance.  To fund the UXO clean up research, Blumenauer
proposed to cut just one percent of the $9 billion National Missile
Defense System’s most untested and futuristic program - the Ballistic
Missile Defense System Interceptor (BMD) Interceptor.  Blumenauer
withdrew his amendment after receiving assurances that the issue would
be addressed during negotiations with the Senate over final funding

During debate, Blumenauer highlighted the dangers from UXO to our
troops.  Just last week, a constituent of Blumenauer’s was killed in
Iraq while clearing landmines.  Recent press reports have attributed
several other U.S. fatalities and numerous injuries in Iraq to landmines
or UXO.  Fifteen U.S. soldiers have been killed in or wounded by
landmines since military operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.
Landmines also caused approximately 30 percent of US casualties in the
1991 Persian Gulf War.

Blumenauer also argued that UXO threatens civilians around the world,
including here in the U.S.  He has been a longtime champion of the
cleanup of UXO and military toxics, arguing that Congress and the
Department of Defense have been too slow in responding to this enormous
problem.  Last year, Blumenauer successfully inserted language in the
DoD Authorization bill requiring the agency to release an inventory of
UXO sites around the U.S.  The inventory, released in late May, revealed
that the actual costs of cleaning up UXO sites just in the United States
may eventually reach $19 billion.  The House DoD bill allocates $6
million for this effort in fiscal year 2004.

“Our troops face the dangers caused by UXO every day overseas and here
at home,” Blumenauer said.  But, dangerous unexploded ordnance, which
can kill our military personnel and civilians alike, is not just a
remote danger in some far off land.  It’s time to take this threat
seriously and fund it appropriately.”


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