Report: White House asks for D.C. troop deployments to extend into fall

Report: White House asks for D.C. troop deployments to extend into fall

Report: White House asks for D.C. troop deployments to extend into fall

National Guard troops could still be deployed in Washington, D.C, through at least the fall, according to a new report.

The National Security Council, an arm of the White House chaired by the president, wants the Department of Defense and Capitol Police to develop a plan for the use of Guard troops, according to WTTG-TV, Fox 5 in Washington.

About 25,000 troops were brought to D.C. to serve as security for the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden. That number has since been reduced.

“As we continue to work to meet the final post-inauguration requirements, the National Guard has been requested to continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members and will draw down to 5,000 through mid-March,” Fox News quoted a January Guard statement as saying.

Those 5,000 troops were to remain indefinitely, Stars and Stripes reported, citing Army and National Guard officials.

WTTG reported it had obtained an internal email written by Robert Salesses, acting as assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, describing the goals for National Guard deployment. A meeting of participating agencies is scheduled for Wednesday.

“If it’s not possible to sustain at the current level with NG personnel, we need to establish the number of NG personnel (DCNG and out-of-state) we can sustain for an extended period — at least through Fall 2021 — and understand additional options for providing DoD support, to include use of reserve personnel, as well as active component,” the email stated, according to WTTG.

The station reported that the D.C. National Guard replied to a request for comment with a statement that said the guard is moving carefully.

“The National Guard is conducting prudent planning for the eventual end of the security mission and the return of its Soldiers and Airmen to their home stations,” the statement said, according to WTTG.

The extended deployment — which has not yet encountered any threat — is not universally popular.

“We still have National Guardsmen out there, away from their families, away from their jobs, supplementing the police, and yet we can’t get a briefing on what is this dire threat that requires so many people,” Republican Rep. Michael Waltz of Florida told Fox News’ Martha McCallum on Monday, Fox News reported.

“Why do we have more troops in the Capitol than we have in Iraq and Afghanistan combined? We still don’t have answers,” he said.

The cost for the current mission through March 15 is estimated at $483 million, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a Feb. 8 news conference.

Last month, officials claimed there could be demonstrations in the nation’s capital on March 4, the country’s original Inauguration Day.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Report: White House asks for D.C. troop deployments to extend into fall