Trump's border wall is stripping funds from the Pentagon budget. Handout.

The Pentagon is diverting money for Ground-based Midcourse Defense missile interceptors in Alaska meant to defend the US against North Korean ballistic missiles to pay for President Trump’s border wall, according to newly released Pentagon documents, Breaking Defense reported.

The US$8 million allocated by Congress for the missile field at Fort Greely, Alaska, was set to add two missile interceptors as a backup for when the existing 40 interceptors need to undergo repair and maintenance.

But due to the US$3.6 billion the White House ordered the Pentagon to shift to border wall construction, the money will be stripped.

“The missile field at Fort Greely is actually incredibly important for us and our strategy,” a Pentagon official, who insisted on anonymity, told reporters. “We don’t see any impact to the strategy or the work that’s going to be done at that silo through putting it on the list, or for a potential delay.”

Fort Greely already has 40 interceptors, and Congress has funded 20 more for the base in the coming years. The work on the new silos was set to begin in 2021, but until Congress sees fit to put the money back into a future budget, the work has been taken off the books, the report said.

If the cuts stay in place with no replacement funds in coming years the Navy, which is struggling with maintenance and repair issues, will take a real hit. A Ship Maintenance Facility in Portsmouth, Va. is set to lose US$26.1 million  while another pier and maintenance facility at the Navy’s base in Kitsap, Wash., would lose an additional US$88.9 million.

Missiles intended to intercept North Korean ballistic missiles are being chopped by the Pentagon to support Trump’s border wall. Handout.

The interceptor and shipyard cuts are part of 127 projects being “deferred” by the Pentagon in the hopes that lawmakers put the money back in when funding future budgets, the report said.

The Republican-led Senate has already agreed to replace the cash in its annual defense policy bill, but the Democratic-led House rejected the idea in its version of the bill. Now that Congress is back in town after its August recess, the two sides will get to work negotiating a compromise bill for fiscal 2020 before they send it to the president’s desk for approval.

“We have been given a lawful order by the president to respond to this crisis on the border and we’re doing that,” the Pentagon official said. “We requested money for a backfill to replace the money for these projects that we have to defer.”

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed off on the plan to pull US$3.6 billion in military construction funds to build 175 miles of walls and barriers along the US southern border, the first half of which will be available immediately for transfer to the Department of Homeland Security.

That first US$1.8 billion was originally slated for construction projects overseas, with the rest coming available if needed. Members of Congress from affected states were briefed on the funding shifts over the past two days, and foreign governments informed Wednesday, Pentagon officials said.

Meanwhile, US forces in Japan are being asked to defer almost $400 million worth of Special Operations facilities, school construction, and air base repairs, while about US$130 million worth of projects in Poland — which is looking to house more US troops — is being deferred.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Join the Conversation

7 Comments

  1. Hello, this weekend is pleasant in favor of me, for the reason that this time i am reading this impressive informative article here at my
    house.

  2. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the internet the
    simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I
    definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know
    about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined
    out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  3. I was very pleased to find this page. I want to to thank you
    for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every bit
    of it and i also have you book-marked to look at
    new information on your blog.

  4. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog.
    I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.

    In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now 😉

  5. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative.
    I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

Leave a comment

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