WASHINGTON. On Thursday, President Trump reiterated to the press that if the budget impasse with congressional Democrats continues, he may be forced to ratchet up the pressure.
“If we don’t make a deal, I would say it would be very surprising to me that I would not declare a national emergency.”
A wall, pretty please
But does the president really need Speaker Pelosi or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s say-so to start construction on a wall? As Commander-in-chief, Trump need only shift wasteful military spending from a few Pentagon misadventures.
A new priority in military spending?
The US already saved an estimated $15.3 billion this year alone by withdrawing US forces from Syria. That’s $10 billion more than Trump is asking Congress to pony up for a wall the Department of Homeland Security says will stretch for only 215 miles.
Exiting Syria’s killing fields just bought at least 430 miles more border security.
The war in Afghanistan costs the US $45 billion annually. A US troop withdrawal from there should cover an additional 969.5 miles of US border wall.
Now imagine a US exit from NATO, for which the US bears 70 percent of the financial burden. As one of only five NATO members to meet the required 3.5 percent of GDP for military spending, or $664 billion, closing our bases and withdrawing our troops from Europe would go a long way in plugging the additional 1 million miles of our porous border.
NATO, in case you have forgotten, was designed as a military deterrent against Soviet aggression. The Soviet Union ceased to exist on January 1, 1991. I think that certainly entitles them a well-earned “Mission Accomplished” for an organization that has lived long past its intended purpose.
The war in our streets
From 2006 to 2010, the Government Accounting Office says illegal immigrants were responsible for committing 25,000 homicides in the US.
According to the Congressional Research Service, during the same period, American dead in Afghanistan totaled 806.
So, is the real war abroad or at home?
The US Army Corps of Engineers, which built the Pentagon while simultaneously supervising the development and building of the atomic bomb, certainly has the wherewithal to build a border wall.
Perhaps the names of the aforementioned US murder victims can grace the surface of this new wall. A monument and tribute to America’s dead in the little acknowledged and now decades old Mexico Border War.
Top Image: President Trump discusses the border wall with reporters
while in Texas. CBS News screen capture.