Trump is harming the women and men who serve in the Marine Corps.
Trump's anti-immigrant obsession is threatening the readiness of America's military.
The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, sounded the alarm in two internal Pentagon memos that say Trump's fake national emergency and his made-up border crisis have created an "unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency."
The memos, first reported on Thursday by the Los Angeles Times, lay out some of the consequences Marines face because Trump is unnecessarily redeploying military personnel to the southern border and siphoning funds from military projects in order to fund a border wall he repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for.
In part because of Trump's actions, Marines will not participate in scheduled training exercises in Indonesia, Scotland, and Mongolia, and will reduce their participation in exercises in Australia and South Korea.
Canceling these training exercises "will degrade the combat readiness and effectiveness of the Marine Corps," Neller wrote, adding that the loss of these experiences for Marines "at a critical time in their preparation cannot be recouped."
Degrading Marine readiness isn't the only way Trump is endangering their lives. Neller warns that Marines, sailors, and civilians in Georgia and North Carolina are "operating out of severely compromised structures" even though hurricane season is only three months away. Additional funds are needed to address the "severely degraded posture" at some bases, Neller said.
The difficulties the Marine Corps faces stem from Trump's obsession with attacking people migrating to the U.S. from Latin America. Before the 2018 midterm election, Trump made up a fake "border crisis" to try to drum up turnout among his racist base, and demanded that thousands of troops go to the border as a pure political stunt.
Since no real crisis awaited those troops, there was very little for them to do — and some troops even got stuck spending their days shoveling horse manure.
After the election, Trump threw a tantrum and demanded Congress hand over $5.7 billion to pay for a border wall. When Congress refused, Trump forced a record-long shutdown of the federal government to try to force Congress to comply. When that didn't work, he declared a fake "national emergency" that allows him to circumvent Congress and steal money from various military projects to fund the wall.
Democrats in Congress passed a resolution to repeal his national emergency declaration, and got enough Republican votes in the Senate to send it to Trump's desk. Trump vetoed the bill, however, and it would take a lot more Republican senators to override that veto than are likely to turn against Trump.
Republicans in Congress could stop this — but they're not going to. And now, Trump's irresponsible actions are causing real readiness issues for the military.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.