PENTAGON — Air Force officials are sounding the alarm today about the greatest risk of the Trump administration's plan to use military construction money to build a border wall — it could keep them from building more golf courses.
The Pentagon operates 194 golf courses with 2,874 holes worldwide, mostly on Air Force bases.
"These are essential the morale of our airmen and really to the whole joint force," said Jed Myles, director of morale, welfare and recreation policy for the Department of Defense. "It's not just officers that use them. I've seen drunken first sergeants out on the links, too. We're in the process of expanding our footprint and hope to be up to a 3,000-hole global network in the next two years."
That expansion plan is at severe risk, other sources say. President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency and is planning to reallocate billions of dollars of defense reconstruction spending to the southern border in order to fund his long-promised border wall. Surprisingly, given the president's personal interest in golf, much of the money will come from a fund allocated to expanding golf facilities in the Middle East and Europe.
Senior Air Force leaders, who spoke to Duffel Blog on condition of anonymity, are apoplectic.
"We only have nine measly holes in Mosul right now," said one general officer, complaining about Al Kindi golf course in Mosul. "And they're all surrounded by sand traps that ISIS left IEDs in. We really need to clear it and expand that course to 18 holes, but it's at the top of the White House list for cuts."
The plan to move US troops pulling out of Syria to northern Iraq only increases the need for a large course there, the general added.
A strategic planner from US European Command also expressed deep concern.
"The US government has no, I mean literally zero, golf facilities in Poland right now," he noted. "The Baltics are even worse. You can barely find civilian courses out there. What the fuck are we doing deterring Russia without golf courses? If the Army wants air cover in the next war, they need to back up the Air Force on this one."
The White House did not return a request for comment.