The commandant of the Marine Corps expressed his concern regarding the service's budget last month because of hurricane relief efforts, the presidential order that sent troops to the southern border, and other factors.
Gen. Robert Neller wrote two memos to Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan that outlined the budget challenges the Marines are facing in the current fiscal year. The Los Angeles Times published copies of them.
Included on a list of "unplanned and unbudgeted factors" was Operation Faithful Patriot, the name of the ongoing military operations at America's border with Mexico to help shore up the border and slow down the flow of illegal immigration.
"Unplanned/unbudgeted Southwest Border Operations" was the third item on the list.
An "Unplanned/unbudgeted civilian pay raise" was also listed.
The internal memos indicated the border deployment, ordered by President Donald Trump last fall, is putting a strain on the military. Neller wrote, because of the budgetary challenges, several planned training exercises, some with foreign militaries, were canceled.
Neller concluded canceling the exercises will negatively impact "combat readiness," "strengthened alliances and partnerships," and the "solvency of the Marine Corps."
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