U.S. president Donald Trump is taking billions of dollars from the U.S. military for an ineffective border wall. Repeatedly diverting funds has cost the armed services stealth fighters, patrol planes, tiltrotors, warships and other key weapons systems.
The Trump administration on Feb. 13, 2020 notified Congress that it planned to transfer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security $3.8 billion for wall-construction, largely taking the money from accounts for aircraft and ships.
With the February 2020 announcement the military since 2019 has committed around $10 billion to the wall, which Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign promised Mexico would pay for. Mexico of course has not paid a dime.
The administration in three years has built around 100 miles of wall, mostly replacing existing barriers. Trump said he wants to complete 500 miles of wall by early 2021, around the time he will leave office in the event he loses the 2020 election. National polls show Trump trailing the leading Democratic contenders for the presidency.
The current transfer will cost the U.S. Air Force $1.5 billion. Air Force Magazine detailed the sources of the money:
- $156 million from appropriated advanced procurement funding for the F-35 stealth fighter
- $196 million in base funding for C-130Js, resulting in the reduction of two airframes