Air Force: Trump’s border wall gambit risks national security

Updated

It was earlier this year when Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration, giving himself the authority to raid the Pentagon budget and redirect funds to his border agenda, whether Congress liked it or not. Last week, the administration started offering specific details about which projects were supposed to receive Defense funds, but which will now lose out to pay for unnecessary border barriers.

Domestically, there are all kinds of worthwhile priorities that have suddenly been stripped of funding, including schools and daycare facilities for the children of American troops, as well as construction work in Puerto Rico. But internationally, the developments are just as striking, with the president taking steps to deny assistance to European allies facing possible Russian aggression.

NBC News advances the story further today, highlighting a report compiled by the U.S. Air Force.

President Donald Trump’s plan to pay for his proposed border wall by taking funds from more than four dozen Air Force military construction projects poses various national security risks for the U.S. armed forces, according to a report compiled by the U.S. Air Force.

The report, obtained by NBC News, details the importance of each of the 51 military projects chosen by the Trump administration to lose their funding….

The full report is well worth your time to appreciate the scope and scale of the problem, though I was especially struck by NBC News’ reporting on scrapped investments that would have upgraded airfields in Germany, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Hungary, and Slovakia, “leaving the bases unable to support U.S. and NATO airplanes.”

The report quoted an Air Force official saying, “We had no advanced notice of what projects they chose.”

That’s not how the process is supposed to work, though then again, we’re in largely uncharted waters, so there is no real governing process to properly honor.

As for the bigger picture, there is a degree of irony to the circumstances: for reasons he’s struggled to explain, the president insists he needs to raid the Defense Department’s budget to pay for a “wall” in order to protect our national security. According to the Air Force, Trump’s gambit will actually undermine our national security.