The US Defense Department is shifting $1.5 billion in funds originally targeted for support of the Afghan forces to help pay for construction of nearly 80 miles (130 kilometers) of Trump Mexico border wall.
Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the transfer, a spokesman at the US Defense Department said Friday.
The $1.5 billion would be used to “undertake fence replacement” in and around Tucson, Arizona, and El Centro, Texas, Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson, said.
It follows the Pentagon’s decision in March to transfer $1 billion from Army personnel budget accounts to support border wall construction.
The combined total of $2.5 billion is in response to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border, activating executive powers provided under the National Emergencies Act to utilize the armed forces and construction powers to build a border barrier.
Trump had previously threatened to declare a national emergency if Congress did not pass his entire desired program for a wall on the US–Mexican border by February 15.
In all, the Pentagon is expected to shift about $6 billion to help build a border wall, including about $3.6 billion from military construction projects, some of which will be delayed.