Government shutdowns must spare military
October 8, 2013
The current stalemate between the inept administration and Congress has entered its second week but not without a major faux pas.
While the Obama spin machine has done a better job of painting the Republicans as the architect of this most recent and embarrassing shutdown, the Obama Administration, though, must bear its own public relations debacle for the way in which current civilian and military workers and veterans have been treated.
Appalling is what we call the closing of war memorials and monuments that honor the sacrifices of those who served in many of this nation's wars. For a group of World War II veterans to storm a closed memorial in Washington, D.C. shows how insensitive the direction of the government shutdown has become.
Men and women in uniform have been trained to lead, which, in our nation's capital, is a word that has evolved into one of those dirty four-letter expressions.
The current disdain for the military from the administration has continued through this childish Washingtonian game of "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil."
First, nearly 400,000 government civilian and military technician employees received emergency furlough calls telling them not to come to work; then, pay became a problem, especially for the miltiary technicians, many of whom fought side by side their active-duty counterparts in the dusty sands of Iraq or in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan.
Weekend drill, which has intensified for training, was postponed last weekend. As Congress fiddles while Washington burns, countries such as Russia and China and Iran are calculating their next moves against an adversary whose power and world dominance is slowly slipping.
Congress and the Obama Administration have allowed this partial government shutdown to fester, even before implementing the furloughs next week. The House, then following the Senate, voted to restore pay, and over the weekend Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel felt it necessary for other employees with a direct role to the military need to return to work. But we have some recommendations if another shutdown should occur.
That means National Guard and Reserve military technicians are not laid off.
That means all military personnel and civilians working for the services — active, Guard and Reserve — do not receive a disruption in their paychecks.
That means all training continues without interruption including weekend military drills.
That means avoid the temporary closure or reduction of military instruction at the country's service academies.
Recommendation to Mr. President and Congress: Don't hurt those who can lead.
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