Mattis says US government shutdown would affect military operations

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that a government shutdown would impact military operations including some training, maintenance, and intelligence operations.

“Our maintenance activities will probably pretty much shut down ... Over 50 percent, altogether of my civilian workforce will be furloughed ... We do a lot of intelligence operations around the world and they cost money, those obviously would stop,” Mattis said in response to a question about the impact of a potential shutdown.

Separately, the Defense Department said a shutdown would not impact the U.S. military’s war in Afghanistan or its operations against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria.

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Mattis, speaking during a question and answer period following a speech, said he would leave this weekend for a trip to Indonesia and Vietnam. The Pentagon said in a statement that Mattis’ trip to Asia would go ahead even in the case of a government shutdown because it was necessary for national security and foreign relations.

The U.S. Congress raced the clock to avoid a federal government shutdown before a midnight deadline on Friday after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer failed to produce a deal.

U.S. Defense SecretaryJim Mattisgovernment shutdownmilitary operations