McCaskill issues deadline to deal with POW ‘mess’

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) will introduce a bill giving the Department of Defense one year to address the “mismanagement” of recovering and identifying prisoners of war and military personnel missing in action (POW/MIA).

“It's obvious to me that our military leadership are going to need a deadline in order to effectively tackle this mess,” McCaskill said Friday. “Our military families deserve honesty from their government.”

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A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report prompted McCaskill’s remarks and legislation. The GAO report showed that the Pentagon was not going to meet the goal of identifying 200 POW/MIA per year by 2015.

McCaskill said her legislation would require the Defense Department to submit to Congress a plan within one year to reform POW/MIA recovery efforts. Her bill would also require the Pentagon to give “an honest assessment and accounting of our recovery efforts so we have a full understanding of the work before us.”

Later this month, the Senate is expected to debate and pass the National Defense Authorization Act. McCaskill said she would offer her plan as an amendment to that bill.

McCaskill serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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