Forget cutbacks on bathroom cleanings at national parks or the furlough of thousands of government workers. Perhaps the greatest vulnerability the sequester has opened up is the threat of extraterrestrial destruction.
That's right. This week, the Air Force announced that it is prepared to shut down its Space Surveillance System come October as it seeks to comply with sequester cuts in its 2014 budget. According to the press release, the Air Force will save $14 million a year from cutting a program that uses radar to detect meteors entering the atmosphere, such as the one that injured 1,000 in Russia in February, or debris that can damage our satellite systems. The news site Military.com says the system has the capability "to locate threats as small as a basketball." So we can assume it could also detect an incoming alien spacecraft.
At this point in the end-of-the-world movie, the Jeff Goldblum character would rush to the general's or president's office, shouting emotionally that we can't ignore the chance that destruction will rain down from outer space. (In typical fashion, the general or president would flippantly point to the nation's nuclear arsenal to solve any space-related problem.) After all, Military.com reports that last year the Air Force called the program "a critical defense system [that] shall be manned on a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year basis."