In what may represent the most substantial funding of President Donald J. Trump’s border wall yet, the Pentagon announced on Friday that $1.5 billion dollars of discretionary funding will be contributed to the construction of 80 miles of barriers.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan explained that the funds were being diverted from several sources. More than $600 million that was intended for the often corrupt and wasteful Afghan security forces is going to be spent on wall construction, a welcome development for ‘America First’ Trump supporters who have called for foreign aid programs to be cut to fund wall construction.
Congressional Democrats expressed their desire to see the funds squandered in distant nations like Afghanistan, as opposed to used to secure the American homeland.
Other DoD funding being diverted to wall construction is being drawn from retirement funds, chemical demilitarization programs, and aid to Pakistan. Secretary Shanahan made it clear that the wall funding wouldn’t impact military readiness. A Pentagon spokesman said that the funds would specifically be used for “fence replacement on four additional projects in and around Tucson, AZ, and El Centro, TX.”
After drawn-out government shutdown and congressional negotiation proceedings, funding at least a segment of the border wall with Department of Defense resources could represent President Trump’s path of least resistance to finally putting a starter’s portion of the ‘big, beautiful’ wall he promised during his campaign smack down across the U.S-Mexico border.
A wall could serve as a useful and cost-saving deterrent to preventing illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. It’s likely that a wall that effectively deters illegal crossings would pay for itself- Customs and Border Patrol would be able to more effectively deploy their resources over the vast border.
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