By Rebekah Johansen
The Ebola outbreak is undoubtedly a crisis, and the level to which the United States ought to get involved is a valid discussion.
However, today we see yet another example of why the Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations budget is in need of reform. Critics have rightfully called the OCO budget a “slush fund” because of its common use to skirt budget restrictions and pay for anything and everything. And now? Yet another example of this phenomenon.
On Tuesday, President Obama will announce more efforts by the U.S. to lead a global battle against the spread of the deadly virus.
The United States is dramatically escalating its efforts to combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa, President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The unprecedented response will include the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military forces and more than $500 million in defense spending drawn from funding normally used for efforts like the war in Afghanistan, senior administration officials outlined Monday. Obama has called America’s response to the disease a “national-security priority,” with top foreign policy and defense officials leading the government’s efforts.
Officials said that the Department of Defense is seeking to “reprogram” $500 million in funding from the department’s “overseas contingency operations” fund to assist in the response. Obama has also requested another $88 million from Congress for the U.S. response, including $58 million to expedite the development of experimental treatments for Ebola.