In a government shutdown, who will pay US military?
US military operations from Afghanistan to Japan will continue even if there is a government shutdown, Pentagon officials say. What they don't know is whether troops will get paychecks.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
But on this point, the Pentagon has been mute, leading some to suggest that the Obama administration might be using the specter of the US military going without pay to pressure Republicans into a deal.
In response to a question about rumors that US troops at war will stop receiving their paychecks as of April 15, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Tuesday, “I don’t have a definitive answer … to relay to our forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.”
“We have not been able yet to arrive at a conclusive determination about how everyone’s pay would be impacted by this,” Mr. Morrell told reporters in a briefing.
Pentagon officials say they cannot offer a definitive answer because they have not received guidance about which operations and personnel are essential – and therefore would continue to be funded in a shutdown. But critics note that the Pentagon has already offered assurances that operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Japan would not be affected.