The President of the Washington DC-based think tank American Hellenic Institute (AHI), Nick Larigakis, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper to raise concern that although funding has been authorized and appropriated by Congress for two military construction projects at the United States base in Souda Bay, Crete, the funding has yet to be provided.
According to the letter, Larigakis was on a trip to Greece where he received a high level briefing from military officials at the American base, located outside the city of Hania, in western Crete.
“During my visit to NSA Souda Bay, where I received a high-level briefing from military officials, it was to my dismay to learn the $47.85 million has yet to be provided for the construction of those two projects at the Joint Mobility Processing Center and Marathi Logistics Support Center,” Larigakis wrote.
The pressure on the Secretary of Defense to account for the unfunded project comes while he is facing criticism for diverting $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer money that was intended for pandemic-related relief like masks and swabs to defense contractors who make jet engine parts and body armor.
“Because of NSA Souda Bay’s demonstrated importance to U.S. security interests in the region, to NATO’s mission, and to U.S.-Greece defense and security cooperation, it is imperative that this appropriation be provided without further delay for its intended use at the two projects,” Larigakis said in his letter to Esper.
Larigakis’ letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense is here.
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