But it hasn’t stopped CIA training of jihadists in Syria. Clearly what is shut down during the shutdown — national monuments, etc. — is cynically calculated in the White House in order to manipulate popular opinion and intimidate the Republicans (who are so very easily intimidated) into giving in to whatever the Administration wants. This is more of the same. But it is an increasingly risky “damn game,” as Boehner said. Actually, he said it wasn’t a damn game. But it is.
“Shutdown delaying aid to Israel, Sinai peacekeeper funding,” from the Times of Israel, October 6 (thanks to Lookmann):
The ongoing shutdown of the US government could negatively impact israel’s [sic] security, Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.
Speaking to reporters, Kerry said the shutdown, which is nearly a week old, would delay payments for Israel’s security and for peacekeepers in the Sinai Peninsula.
“Our security assistance for Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, is being delayed,” Kerry said. “The new fiscal year started this last week, but because of the shutdown, some entities don’t have the funding that they need, including supporting the peacekeeping mission in the Sinai, at a time of growing unrest in a critical area.”
He did not specify what kind of security assistance was being delayed. The State Department could not be immediately reached for comment.
The US currently gives Israel some $3 billion a year in defense aid, though that number may be slashed by austerity measures enacted by Washington.
America’s commitment to the Multinational Force and Observers, or MFO, in the Sinai is much smaller, totaling some $25 million annually, according to a 2012 report.
Kerry also said that the Treasury Department’s ability to monitor sanctions on Iran was hampered by the furloughs and lack of funding wrought by the shutdown, noting that a recent diplomatic push with Tehran was contingent on tough sanctions remaining in place.
“The opportunity to engage diplomatically with Iran is critical to all of us in the world, and we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the pressure that has been brought to bear by the sanctions,” he said. “But right now, as a direct result of the shutdown, our Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control has been forced to furlough nearly all of its staff.”…