sounding the alarm
March 21, 2019

Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller wrote in two internal memos that President Trump's "unplanned/unbudgeted" deployment of troops to the southern border has posed "unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency," the Los Angeles Times reports.

The memos obtained by the Times are dated Feb. 19 and March 18 and addressed to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.

Neller wrote that because funds have been shifted to border security and recovery costs from Hurricanes Michael and Florence are high, he has had to postpone much-needed base repairs, and cancel or scale back military training in Indonesia, Scotland, Mongolia, Australia, and South Korea. Marines "rely on the hard, realistic training" of the exercises, he said, to "develop the individual and collective skills necessary to prepare for high-end combat."

These memos, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said, show the Pentagon should not be diverting funding at Trump's whim. "If the president won't listen to the American people or Congress, then listen to the commandant of the Marine Corps," he said in a statement. Catherine Garcia

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