US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper decided to transfer $274 million, aimed at the construction of several facilities in Europe to deter “Russian aggression”, the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico. This was reported by Defense News portal on April 28 with reference to an explanatory note sent by Esper, acting Deputy Defense Minister Elaine McCasquier.
The note, photos of which the portal cites, refers to the suspension of 19 projects, in particular, in Norway, Germany, Spain and several other countries.
In total, Esper plans to transfer $545.5 million to the US Department of Construction for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico.
The portal notes that a total of about $1 billion planned for projects under the European Deterrence Initiative – the construction of infrastructure for military aircraft, fuel and ammunition – may go for other purposes.
The Pentagon claims that the planned projects have only been postponed. Democrats in the White House criticized US President Donald Trump for his “wasteful” border wall, the construction of which he puts above “real national security needs.
In September 2019, the American leader reallocated $771 million for “deterring Russian aggression” from this European program to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Then the Democrats also criticized this step.
One of the main points in Trump’s election program was the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico to combat illegal migrants and drug trafficking.
In February 2019, the U.S. president introduced a state of emergency in the country to get about $6.4 billion to implement the plan. However, his opponents agreed to allocate only $1.4 billion for the wall.