"Over the years, we have stacked up crisis response forces and ... we never actually use them," Esper said.
Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense
It will take more than a pandemic to take down the DoD's nerve center.
Tens of thousands of troops are in countries that have been hardest hit, including South Korea and portions of Europe.
The peace deal calls for a comprehensive nationwide cease-fire to be negotiated in the intra-Afghan talks.
The exercises are held throughout the year and are intended to prepare troops for potential combat against North Korea.
"The situation is quite serious," U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.
The plan to shift money has triggered rare Republican opposition to one of Trump's priorities.
The possible furlough of 9,000 civilian workers could impact U.S. troops and families in South Korea.
President Trump's skepticism about nuclear weapons spending may be based on the eye-popping price tag.
“Border security is national security,” Esper said, “and national security is our mission.”