Photo by Victoria Pickering, Flickr
The invaluable Thomas Ricks blogging at the hydra-headed site Foreign Policy has invited his correspondents in and around the military to share what a government shut down means to them.
Bruce Fleming wrote from Annapolis:
Go read the rest. It's a fascinating peak inside a military academy in our dysfunctional empire.
Then there's Capt. Brad Hardy, U.S. Army, who is angry about what he sees happening -- and worse, seriously disquieted about its implications:
Now there's a bold suggestion. I doubt Capt. Hardy could make it if he really believed that most of what the bloated institution in which he is a loyal professional cog is doing was truly essential to the well-being of the nation. That recognition is what scares me about our military. What if many of them got sick of incompetent civilians placing them in fruitless, sometimes even idiotic, missions? If their labor and dedication seemed to be serving no purpose? Could they obediently continue to "serve"? Perhaps the regular branches might put up with this, but what about the ever-growing spook sectors, not to mention their profiteering suppliers? All this seems worth worrying about.
Update: It seems Secretary of War (Defense) Hagel is trying to recall civilian employees of the military despite the continuing government shutdown. It will be worth watching how this develops. Could an administration so inclined militarize the entire federal government, thereby rendering Congressional assent irrelevant? Unlikely, but expedients invented as work-arounds for extreme cases sometimes leak into everyday practice.