Trump Calls for Border Wall Construction via Military, Cites National Defense

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
March 26, 2018US News
Trump Calls for Border Wall Construction via Military, Cites National Defense
President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego, Calif. on March 13, 2018. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump proposed on Sunday to use the recently approved giant military budget to fund the wall on the border with Mexico, emphasizing the barrier’s function as national defense.

Trump’s proposal comes at a time of increased tensions with Iran. Hezbollah, the Iranian regime’s terror proxy, has built up an ominous presence in South America, especially in Peru. The threat of armed terrorists crossing the border is likely to increase if the president delivers on a campaign promise to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Trump is scheduled to visit Peru next month, his first visit to South America as president.

“Because of the $700 & $716 Billion Dollars gotten to rebuild our Military, many jobs are created and our Military is again rich,” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. “Building a great Border Wall, with drugs (poison) and enemy combatants pouring into our Country, is all about National Defense. Build WALL through M!”

Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday, including $654 billion in funding for the military, but only $1.6 billion in funds for work on the border wall, his signature campaign promise.

The importance of funding the wall was made clear when Trump briefly threatened to veto the spending bill because it didn’t include adequate funding. The $1.6 billion is far short of an estimated $25 billion needed for the wall and the funds come with strings attached, prohibiting Trump from building the kind of wall he wants.

Before casting the wall as a military structure, Trump usually promoted it as a way of stemming the flow of illegal drugs and aliens across the border. Opioids killed 42,000 people in the United States in 2016, a five-fold increase from 1999. Meanwhile, illegal alien households drain an estimated $55 billion from American taxpayers every year, according to a study by the Heritage Foundation.

“I want to address the situation on border security, which I call national defense,” Trump said at the signing ceremony for the spending bill on Friday. “I call it stopping drugs from pouring across our border. And I call it illegal immigration. It’s all of those things. But national defense is a very important two words. Because by having a strong border system, including a wall, we are in a position, militarily, that is very advantageous.”

Before signing the spending bill on Friday, the president attempted to cut a deal with Democrats and offered concessions for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in exchange for $25 billion for the wall. The White House rejected the deal after the Democrats asked for far more.

Prior to the tweet on Sunday, Trump hinted at the signing ceremony for the spending bill on Friday that the military can be used to build the wall. The president brought up General James Mattis immediately after remarking on the wall’s military significance. In his brief comments, Mattis mentioned that the Pentagon will use the money wisely.

“In 1790, in George Washington’s first annual address to Congress, he stated, to be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving the peace,” Mattis said. “Now, it’s our responsibility in the military to spend every dollar wisely in order to keep the trust and the confidence of the American people and the Congress.”

The military could fund the wall by generating 3.8 percent in cost savings. The armed forces are also well staffed and equipped to carry out the work. The Army Corps of Engineers employs more than 37,000 members skilled in building critical infrastructure. The Navy Seabees have 7,000 personnel on the construction force with 6,297 in reserves.

The Army Corps of Engineers had already done preliminary work for wall construction by July last year. Engineers drilled and took samples in California, New Mexico, and Texas to determine which type of wall would be needed in different areas along the border.

From The Epoch Times

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