Law and Public Policy

WATCH: Middle East Programs Chair on National Security, Diplomacy During Government Shutdown

October 3, 2013

In a new series that aims to promote the restoration of civil discourse, experts at the Aspen Institute weigh in on the consequences and policy ramifications — social, fiscal, and otherwise — of the US government shutdown of 2013.

Given increasing counterterrrorism efforts and international conflicts, such as the Syrian civil war, Americans wonder how national security will fare during a shutdown. While hundreds of thousands of civilian federal employees are furloughed, US military troops and some US Defense Department staff will still be paid. Verstandig said she’s confident that despite the shutdown, both the homeland and our interests abroad will continue to be protected.

As the federal government shutdown continues, the short-term effects are starting to take place, including in US diplomatic matters. On the second day of the shutdown, the White House announced that President Barack Obama would cut his upcoming trip to Asia short, canceling visits to Malaysia and the Philippines. In the video below, Aspen Institute Middle East Programs Chair Toni Verstandig, a former senior US State Department official, explains the importance of that trip.

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