Tuesday, November 6, 2018


If you think immigration enforcement is expensive, try not enforcing it.

There are over 12,000 American military personnel stationed in Italy. It’s a larger active-duty military presence than Afghanistan. We maintain seven bases in Italy at a cost of billions of dollars.

But as President Trump dispatched a mere 5,000 troops, the first wave of a reported 15,000, to secure the border against the migrant caravan invasion, the media threw a tantrum over the cost.

The Washington Post warned darkly that the deployment could cost as much as... $200 million. That would be more impressive if our annual defense budget weren’t hovering around $600 billion.

And those are only the parts that we know about.

To put that into perspective, President Trump has proposed that we spend 0.03% of our military budget on the core mission of the military, protecting our own borders from an invasion. It’s as if he had suggested that we spend at least 0.03% of NASA’s budget on space exploration, instead of global warming and Muslim self-esteem, or 0.03% of the Department of Education’s budget on education instead of on closely monitoring the sexual habits and Halloween costumes of college students.

Deploying soldiers abroad is far more expensive than deploying them at home. And it’s a lot cheaper to stop drug dealers, gang members and terrorists at the border than it is inside the country.

What does $200 million buy us when it comes to national defense?

$200 million is being spent on special glasses and goggles for pilots to protect their eyes from laser devices fired into cockpits. We spend around $260 million on military bands. The military ad budget is in the high hundreds of millions of dollars.

We’re spending $200 million on military aid to Ukraine. If we can spend that much money to help the Ukrainians keep the Russians away, perhaps we can spend some that money to keep gang members and drug dealers out of our own backyard. The Russians are a menace, but they won’t be chopping up our children with machetes tomorrow. The MS-13 thugs riding along in that caravan just might.

If the media really has a problem with that, let its talking heads pretend that the caravan is Russian.

Every dollar we spend on border security is a fortune we don’t have to spend on police officers, surveillance cameras, insurance, ER visits, prisons, funerals and the larger sense of insecurity.

Let’s put that $200 million into its proper perspective.

An audit this year found that the Defense Logistics Agency couldn't account for $800 million in construction projects.

The money that President Trump may end up spending to protect our border from an invasion could fit four times over into a government accounting error.

None of this is to suggest that the work the military does at home and abroad isn’t vitally important. We should be protecting our pilots; military bands serve a vital purpose and so does our presence in Italy.

But if we don’t have a country, then it doesn’t matter how good our military bands are.

If there’s no United States of America, then why bother having seven bases in Italy? Why does the political establishment expect taxpayers to spend a fortune on geopolitics, but not on the home-front?

The purpose of the United States military is not to protect Italy, it’s to protect America. We built bases and stationed forces across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America for our own needs.

If we can’t use our own soldiers to protect our own country, what is the whole thing for?

While the media is notoriously parsimonious with the military budget, Obama’s presidential center will cost taxpayers $199 million. Throw in another million and that’s the cost of keeping more gang members from reaching Chicago and boosting the summer weekend death toll from...
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