The Pentagon is apparently shifting money away from military programs and towards President Trump’s border wall. The Pentagon is taking $1.5 billion from programs including an intercontinental ballistic missile system and its Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), The Washington Post reported Sunday.
The Pentagon had announced the $1.5 billion funding shift on Friday, but the details of which programs the funds would be diverted from were unclear.
The document states explicitly that the funding shift will not affect military readiness, according to The Post, and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has also confirmed the same information.
“The Department carefully selected sources for the reprogramming that are excess or early to need and will not adversely affect military preparedness,” the document said, according to The Post.
“We have very smart people here in the department, and we found ways to do this without having any impact on readiness,” Shanahan told reporters on Friday, according to the Associated Press.
Both the missile system and the AWACS program were already “slightly delayed,” allowing the funds to be diverted without impacting readiness, the document said.
This news comes in the midst of a surge in the number of migrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border in recent months. This influx has swamped border officials and fueled President Donald Trump’s demands for his wall to be constructed.
In addition to the $1.5 billion in funds, the wall will also be funded with $1 billion in Army personnel funds and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.
The largest chunk of the $1.5 billion figure — $604 million — will come from the Afghan Security Forces Fund, the Associated Press reported, citing two defense officials. Another $344 million will be shifted from Air Force programs where the Pentagon found contract savings, and another $251 million will be diverted from a project to destroy chemical agents and munitions in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.