Shutdown could affect embassy security, Mideast aid
Security blocks at the US Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen.
October 2nd, 2013
06:39 PM ET

Shutdown could affect embassy security, Mideast aid

By Elise Labott

Compared to other U.S. government agencies, the State Department has been relatively lucky.

Because many of its accounts are appropriated more than a year at a time, there is money in most to keep almost all employees at work and all offices and overseas posts open for the near future.

But it isn't business as usual.

Although U.S. embassies and consulates overseas remain open now, officials say an extended government shutdown will delay augmenting embassy security abroad.

Diplomatic security agents scheduled for specialized training before heading to new assignments overseas must wait because the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia is closed.

More urgently, new security enhancements and upgrade projects at U.S. facilities around the world are delayed because contracts for new construction, major renovations and new leases cannot be issued.

These are the same enhancements recommended by the Accountability Review Board that followed the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year.

The State Department is also warning "vital missions" would be affected if the shutdown continues, including military aid for key allies in the Middle East and funding for security in some of the most volatile parts of the world.

"Every day that the government is shut down, we have to take a look at the numbers and we have to take a hard look at competing priorities and our programs around the world," Deputy State Department Spokesman Marie Harf said Wednesday. "Every day that this goes on longer, there will be things that we can't do."

Annual funding the United States provides to militaries of other countries, including Israel, will be delayed until a continuing resolution is passed to keep the government running, Harf said.

"Security assistance funding for Israel is provided early in the fiscal year and the absence of new funding could disrupt critical ongoing military assistance programs," a State Department official said. "This funding typically is provided in early-to-mid November, and thus a protracted lapse could result in a delay in Israel receiving needed funds."

With the crisis in Syria threatening to destabilize its neighbors, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon could all see a delay in military aid and funding for education and training, as would countries struggling to rebuild after the Arab Spring, like Tunisia and Yemen.

Although the Obama administration is currently reviewing its aid to Egypt, that funding would not be available for use during a protracted shutdown.

Moreover, the U.S. contribution to the peacekeeping mission in the Sinai between Egypt and Israel, where extremists linked to al Qaeda are gaining a foothold, will be delayed given the lapse in appropriated funding.

U.S. contributions to peacekeeping missions around the world would also suffer, including in Somalia, where the United States is trying to help government forces combat al-Shabaab militants, who are believed to have been behind the deadly attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi.

The United States would also have to delay its funding for partnerships to train and equip counter-terror military units in West and North Africa, where groups tied to al Qaeda are gaining influence.

As the United States prepares to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan next year, a protracted shutdown would delay training programs for Afghanistan forces, including education on human rights. Equipment and training for Pakistan's security forces to combat terrorism would also be affected.

However, the troops will be paid during the period of a shutdown.

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Palle sol Fuoco

    These posts were written by idiots.

    October 8, 2013 at 1:02 am | Reply
  2. American Worker

    B.S.
    The President decides who and what are essential.

    More fear mongering by the governing elite.

    October 6, 2013 at 9:01 am | Reply
  3. Trfgj Ddrhk

    la la la connect the dots...

    October 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  4. Trfgj Ddrhk

    .

    October 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  5. Random

    Here is how you fix it. Designate the intentional move by 5 republicans an act of war against the usa. Execute one republican for treason a day until they do their jobs.

    Everyone knows the republican lemmings did this intentionally to TERRORIZE us into submission. The republican party are terrorists and should be designated such and dealt with like binladen.

    October 3, 2013 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • Random

      Fact: taking 5 republicans out of the equation solves the entire problem. At some point they will be held accountable the only question is how long we let our country be sabotaged before we deal with them and move on with life.

      October 3, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • Random

      Also worth noting, as an independent I have reserved the right to vote R or D depending on which is hitting the crack pipe less. After this it is fair to say I am no longer independent because I will never again even consider voting for a republican. It is either independent or democrat after this.
      The only possible solution is if the republican party fires, punishes, and eliminates this sect from their party. Many Americans took the oath to protect from foreign and domestic threats. It is time they started doing it or pay the consequences.

      October 3, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
  6. ShiverMeTimbers

    Israel is America's real enemy. Netanyahooo has outlived his shelf life.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:18 am | Reply
  7. Maripil

    Republicans have refused to compromised! Tea party are ruling the house with their arrogance!!

    October 3, 2013 at 2:18 am | Reply
    • U.S.M.C. 1371

      Just guessing you don't pay taxes

      October 3, 2013 at 3:46 am | Reply
      • ShiverMeTimbers

        I pay taxes, and I don't like it that they go to Apartheid Israel. I also do not like it that they go for fruitless, criminal wars. We should use our taxes to help ourselves right here in the good old US of A.

        October 3, 2013 at 7:15 am |
  8. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    October 3, 2013 at 1:50 am | Reply
    • Watkins

      I missed the part where the intentions of your terrorists by definition, were jihad and an effort to rid the world of infidels. While those wars were costly miscalculations, it's not quite the same thing, is it, drama-pants.

      October 3, 2013 at 5:56 am | Reply
      • ShiverMeTimbers

        Dude! We trained and armed Bin laden when he was leading a rag-tag group of jihadists in Afghanistan. Did you forget?

        October 3, 2013 at 7:17 am |
  9. shivadass

    Do you have 3-4 extra dollars?
    Please contribute to this campaign: http://www.gofundme.com/hoefulwriter

    Thank you so much,
    God Bless.

    October 3, 2013 at 12:58 am | Reply
    • shivadass

      http://www.gofundme.com/hopefulwriter ****

      October 3, 2013 at 12:58 am | Reply
  10. Tigas

    After spending over a year down playing the Bengazi debacle, the Obama propaganda machine is now making embassy security a big deal since Obsma's shut down.
    His watch... His responsibility (or therefore lack of)

    October 3, 2013 at 12:06 am | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      I agree, President Obama, respectfully sucks the big one. He should give back the Nobel prize, I would respect him a little more then.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:20 am | Reply
  11. U.S.M.C. 1371

    Keeping the American taxpayers from being sent to the rat hole in the middle east????
    THANK YOU
    KEEP IT SHUTDOWN

    October 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      We are slowly becoming that rat hole you are describing. Get ready to defend the homeland buddy, things are getting mighty interesting.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:21 am | Reply

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