Commandant of the Marines Says Deploying Troops to the Border Poses ‘Unacceptable Risk’

U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller speaks during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C, on Jan. 25, 2018. (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller speaks during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C, on Jan. 25, 2018. (Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The commandant of the Marines has warned the Pentagon that deployments to the southwest border and funding transfers under the president’s emergency declaration, among other unexpected demands, have posed “unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.”

In two internal memos, Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the “unplanned/unbudgeted” deployment along the border that President Trump ordered last fall, and shifts of other funds to support border security, had forced him to cancel or reduce planned military training in at least five countries, and delay urgent repairs at bases.

The border deployment and funding transfers, as well as recovery costs from hurricanes Florence and Michael, new housing allowances and civilian pay raises, are taking a toll on combat readiness, Neller wrote to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

The Times obtained copies of the memos, dated March 18 and March 19.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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