Although Congress passed a last-minute law to assure warfighters would receive their next paychecks promptly on October 15, there are plenty of other ways in which the partial government shutdown will harm active-duty personnel, veterans and their dependents. If this were the first insult that Tea Party budget tactics had visited on the joint force, then it would be merely unfortunate. But the reality is that the rise of the Tea Party as a force in Congress has coincided with a series of setbacks for America’s military that now threaten to leave it unprepared for combat. Training has been deferred, equipment maintenance has been delayed, and investment in new technology has been canceled. Collectively, these developments are unraveling the fighting force that America spent trillions of dollars building up after 9-11. Unfortunately, it will probably take a new conflict to reveal the full damage that Tea Party fiscal practices have done to the nation’s military preparedness. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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