But it does mean that Trump ending combat troops to do non-combat missions at the border is causing the service to NOT to do some other combat readiness drills and training and use money for the border mission that was slated for other things….
Some in the military might think that sending combat troops to the US/Mexican border is involving them in the politics of immigration….Combat troops cannot do law enforcement duty at the border and the military has made known that they do NOT view the situation at the border as an national security emergency …
The comments where made before the US Senate Armed Services Committee…
The commandant of the Marines has warned the Pentagon that deployments to the southwest border and funding transfers under the president’s emergency declaration, among other unexpected demands, have posed “unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.”
In two internal memos, Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the “unplanned/unbudgeted” deployment along the border that President Trump ordered last fall, and shifts of other funds to support border security, had forced him to cancel or reduce planned military training in at least five countries, and delay urgent repairs at bases.
The border deployment and funding transfers, as well as recovery costs from hurricanes Florence and Michael, new housing allowances and civilian pay raises, are taking a toll on combat readiness, Neller wrote to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.
The Times obtained copies of the memos, dated Feb. 19 and March 18.
Neller, a four-star general, said because of the problems, Marines will not participate in planned training exercises in Indonesia, Scotland and Mongolia, and will reduce their participation in joint exercises with Australia and South Korea.
Marines “rely on the hard, realistic training” of the training exercises “to develop the individual and collective skills necessary to prepare for high-end combat,” said Neller, who has been commandant since September 2015.
He complained about canceling or shrinking the Marines’ participation “at a time where we are attempting to double down on strengthening alliances and attracting new partners.”
Shanahan and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee. Members are likely to ask about Neller’s concerns.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said Neller’s memos showed the danger in diverting Pentagon funds to build Trump’s border wall.
“If the president won’t listen to the American people or Congress, then listen to the commandant of the Marine Corps,” Durbin said in a statement…..
Service leaders are asked to appear before Congress all the time….
The head Marine’s comments are NOT gonna go over big with the Trump White House…..
But it IS important for the military to help the White House secure more money for their budget for military spending….