Gates criticizes Congress for way it funds Iraq, Afghanistan wars

Paying for the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan in "fits and starts" undermines planning by US military leaders and puts at risk the gains made by US troops over the past year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday. Congress this week approved $70 billion for combat operations, but that is only half of what President George W. Bush requested. "We will again face the risk of running out of money," Gates said at a Pentagon news conference, complaining that the uncertainly requires the Defense Department to make "short-term plans and short-term decisions."