Budget, debt worries plague troops in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Spc. Daishon Newton, assigned to the Zabul Provincial…

U.S. Army Spc. Daishon Newton, assigned to the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team security force, provides security as members of the team make their way to a canal project site in Zabul province, Afghanistan, on June 14, 2011. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

A half a world away from the Capitol Hill deadlock, the economy and debt crisis are weighing heavily on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

And the top question on their minds Saturday even as bombings rocked the city around them, was one the top U.S. military officer couldn’t answer.

Will we get paid?

“I actually don’t know how the answer to that question,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a group of troops, while at the same time telling them they will continue to go to work each day.

But he offered a bit more optimism than defense officials have acknowledged when those questions have come up in recent weeks.

“I have confidence that at some point in time, whatever compensation you are owed, you will be given,” said Mullen, who is making his 15th trip to Afghanistan, just two months before he retires. But, he noted, “There are plenty of you living paycheck to paycheck so if paychecks were stopped it would have a devastating impact very quickly.”

Source: The Associated Press via USA Today.

Load Comments