Guam – Guam has been preparing for the military buildup for years, but it appears that a new challenge is standing in the way. President Trump’s emergency declaration will result in the diversion of $749-million appropriation for Guam military buildup, according to Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas.
Spanning nearly 2,000 miles long, Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall seems like a contentious endeavor that has nothing to do with Guam. It turns out, Guam’s 6,000-mile distance from California does not make it immune to the impact of the nation’s highly polarized border wall politics.
According to a release from San Nicolas’ office, Trump’s emergency declaration would entail tapping into an estimated $3.6 billion in Department of Defense funding for the border wall construction, “diverting over $749 million of current Guam buildup funding,” which accounts for almost 10 percent of the United States’ commitment to realign forces to Guam.
“Diversion of these funds will certainly setback the military buildup once again, and could further jeopardize it altogether as it represents a softening of the commitment,” San Nicolas said.
This move, according to San Nicolas, is an indication that the border wall is quote, “more emergent than force realignment and readiness in our region grossly understates the real threat of a perceived waning in American commitment to the Asia Pacific.”
San Nicolas said he will co-sponsor a resolution — currently being circulated in Congress— that would challenge Trump’s emergency declaration. “We cannot allow the real threat of fueling China assertiveness to get walled in,” San Nicolas said.
San Nicolas said he will transmit a letter to Gov. Lou Leo Guerrero, urging her to implore President Trump to exclude Guam projects from emergency fund diversion, during her meetings with the Administration planned for this week.