The Pentagon receives a request to build approximately 435 kilometers of the Trump border wall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon received a request from the Trump administration to build approximately 270 miles (435 km) of wall at the Mexican border and is assessing its cost and viability, a senior Defense Department official said Thursday. The disclosure of the request by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) establishes another confrontation with Democrats in Congress, who oppose President Donald Trump's past diversion of billions of dollars in military spending to reinforce security in border. The senior US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, refused to speculate on the costs of the project, but said he would be paid by the Pentagon authorities to counter drug smuggling. The Washington Post reported Monday the internal deliberations of the Trump administration for a $ 7.2 billion request. The Trump administration has promised to build at least 400 miles (644 km) of wall along the border in November 2020, when Trump will be ready for re-election. In his 2016 campaign, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall. The Mexican government has refused to do so. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier this week that he would not oppose a new diversion of funds for the construction of the border wall, saying that the border was a security issue and that the Pentagon was committed to supporting the mission of DHS. If that is what is needed, we are prepared to support, Esper said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon review would probably take two weeks and said that previous DHS requests for the construction of the border wall had only been partially fulfilled by the Department of Defense. The Trump administration has built nearly 160 kilometers (100 miles) of border wall, according to US Customs and Border Protection statistics. UU. Updated until the end of December. All those barriers replaced the existing structures, the agency said. The Pentagon's review of the DHS application would include a legal review by the Defense Department attorneys, as well as a feasibility review by the Army Corps of Engineers. Sometimes, when we get these areas, they are not constructible or it is difficult to do so at certain points, the official said. Then, funding decisions are evaluated simultaneously with that. It was not clear when any construction could begin, but the official said that any financing for it should be spent before September 30, when the fiscal year ends. The Joint Military Staff would also provide an evaluation to determine any impact the project may have on military preparation, presumably due to the diversion of funds. Such projects are not built by soldiers but hired by private industry. (Report by Phil Stewart; Additional report by Ted Hesson; Edition by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney) This story has not been edited by The Times of India and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe. (This story has not been edited by timesofindia.com and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe.)

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