Pentagon to transfer $1.5 billion to border wall from Afghan forces, other areas




  • In US
  • 2019-05-10 17:32:53Z
  • By By Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan testifies before a House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee
FILE PHOTO: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan testifies before a House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee  

By Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved the transfer of $1.5 billion to build more than 80 miles of barriers on the border with Mexico, U.S. official said on Friday, including taking about $600 million in savings from an account meant for Afghan security forces.

The latest move comes on top of a March transfer of $1 billion in military money to fund President Donald Trump's wall, something lawmakers were highly critical of.

"The funds were drawn from a variety of sources, including cost savings, programmatic changes and revised requirements, and therefore will have minimal impact on force readiness," Shanahan said in a statement.

Shanahan said that the U.S. military had more than 4,000 service members on the border along with 19 aircraft.

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the latest transfer would include $604 million from funds for the Afghan security forces, which are struggling to hold territory against Taliban militants.

The United States had appropriated $4.9 billion in support for Afghan security forces for fiscal year 2019. The official said the money was taken from that account because they found savings in contracts.

"It is not reflective of anything related to our commitment ... It took less money to meet the policy commitment than we thought," another U.S. official said, adding that this was not the first time the United States had reprogrammed money from the account.

The United States is in talks with the Taliban to end the more than 17-year-old war. U.S. and Taliban negotiators wrapped up their sixth round of peace talks on Thursday with "some progress" on a draft agreement for when foreign troops might withdraw from Afghanistan.

But there is concern that the over-stretched Afghan forces could crumble if U.S. troops leave. On Wednesday, Afghan forces fought for hours against Taliban insurgents who killed at least four civilians.

The remainder of the money will come from a chemical demilitarization program, retirement account, military funds for Pakistan, and Air Force programs.

The move is likely to anger Congress. Lawmakers have hinted that they could create new restrictions on the Pentagon's authority to move money around, which officials have used in the past to deal with natural disasters and emergencies.

Immigration is a signature issue of Trump's presidency and re-election campaign. He declared a national emergency this year to try to redirect funding to build a border wall.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by David Gregorio and James Dalgleish)

COMMENTS

More Related News

The Latest: Trump claims he was
The Latest: Trump claims he was 'not happy' with chant

President Donald Trump says he "was not happy" when his supporters at a rally Wednesday night in North Carolina chanted "send her back" in reference to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. Trump said this weekend that Omar and other progressive Democratic lawmakers of color should leave the country and "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" over their criticism of his administration.

President Trump says US Navy ship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
President Trump says US Navy ship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
  • World
  • 2019-07-18 20:52:00Z

"The Boxer took defense action against the drone which had closed into a very close distance, approximately a thousand yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said at the White House. "This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters," he continued.

Closer to War: U.S. Troops Aboard Amphibious Assault Ship Force Down Iranian Drone
Closer to War: U.S. Troops Aboard Amphibious Assault Ship Force Down Iranian Drone
  • World
  • 2019-07-18 20:42:00Z

U.S. troops aboard an amphibious assault ship on July 18, 2019 forced down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. president Donald Trump announced.The downing comes just a few weeks after Iranian forces downed an American drone in the same area. The mutual shoot-downs could escalate the already tense situation in the Persian Gulf region.Trump said the unmanned aerial vehicle threatened USS Boxer.Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told The New York Times that Boxer was in international waters at the time of the incident. The drone "closed within a threatening range" before Boxer took action.U.S. Marines embarked on Boxer used radio-jamming gear to bring down the drone, CNN...

Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even
Samantha Bee Shocked Kellyanne Conway Somehow Even 'More Racist' Than Trump

TBSSamantha Bee didn't have time to cover all of President Trump's recent "racisms," instead choosing to zero in on his demand that four freshmen Congresswomen of color go back to the countries "from which they came." "Sadly, the only thing that should surprise anyone is that he wrote 'from which they came' to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition," the Full Frontal host joked. "Way to go, Shakespeare, now return your head to the orifice from which it came." "Of course, it wasn't long before spokes-golem Kellyanne Conway leapt to his defense by somehow sounding more racist than her boss," Bee continued before playing the clip of the White House counselor literally responding to a...

'Unfit to be president': House to consider articles of impeachment against Trump

The House voted to kill a measure seeking to impeach President Donald Trump - the first vote on such a measure since Democrats took the majority and since the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.