US Defaulting on Debt to Undermine National Security, Pentagon Chief Says

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonIn this Aug. 18, 2021, photo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington.
In this Aug. 18, 2021, photo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.10.2021
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WASHINGTON(Sputnik) - The United States defaulting on its debt will undermine the economic strength on which the country's national security rests given that the military would not be able to pay its service members and contractors on time, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday.
“If the United States defaults, it would undermine the economic strength on which our national security rests,” Austin said in a statement. “I would have no authority or ability to ensure that our service members, civilians, or contractors would be paid in full or on time.”
Austin said in the statement that the benefits of 2.4 million military retirees and 400,000 survivors would also be at risk.
US dollars - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.10.2021
Biden Says 'Nuclear Option' to Raise Debt Ceiling 'Real Possibility' as Default Nightmare Looms
The US military will not be the only victim in such a situation as federal contractors, big companies as well as small businesses will also see their payments delayed in case of a default, Austin added.
Earlier this week, President Joe Biden said a failure to raise the debt limit will result in detrimental consequences for the US financial system, including undermining of both the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the Treasury securities.
US Senate Republicans have twice blocked efforts to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a default despite warnings by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that such moves could cause a crisis of enormous proportions.
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