The Pentagon is diverting money from more than 1,200 military projects to pay for construction of the president’s signature campaign promise – a wall along parts of the southern U.S. border. The money will go toward border projects in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The longest stretch of new fencing will be a 52-mile span in the Laredo area.
Sig Christenson reports on the military for the San Antonio Express-News, and says Camp Bullis, a training range in Bexar County, is among the facilities that will lose funds previously allocated to them. The camp’s dining hall is very old, and was set to be replaced.
“The military goes out [to Camp Bullis] and sends their medics, in particular, to do field training exercises,” Christenson says. “They basically learn to do their jobs in the conditions that they will be in when they go to war.”
Planned Army road construction near Fort Bliss will also be eliminated as a result of diverting funds to the border wall. That will be a problem because Christenson says the El Paso-area base has experienced rapid growth in recent years.
Military day care centers are also affected. Christenson says there are already waiting lists for child care.
Democrats criticize the diversions, saying that they will affect military readiness. Christenson says some now-defunct projects, like planned repairs to a Pennsylvania shipbuilding facility, could hinder the Navy’s ability to do ship maintenance. Opponents of the diversions in Congress also say they will not replace money that has been taken from military projects in order to build the border wall.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.