NEWS & ANALYSIS

Defense Secretary Overrules National Guard Chief, Will Keep Troops Stationed at Capitol through May


Though the reasoning and accusations are baseless with no real proof or explanation given to the public, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin overruled the chief of the National Guard Bureau, ordering 2,280 troops to remain at the U.S. Capitol. 

Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, laid out in a memo his assessment that the National Guard cannot and should not be required to cater to the Capitol Police’s request, urging that the National Guard is already spread too thin amidst the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest and wildfires our country has seen, according to Fox News. 

“Efforts to date have not secured enough volunteers among supporting states to meet the USCP request of 2,280 soldiers, nor Option B of 1000 soldiers,” the memo stated. 

“I am concerned that the continued indefinite nature of this requirement may also impede our ability to man future missions as both adjutants general and guardsmen alike may be skeptical about committing to future endeavors,” it added. 

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that there is a “legitimate need” for the Guard to remain in Washington. 

“They have a legitimate need,” Kirby said. “I’m not going to speak to a specific threat. And as I’ve been trying to say over the last few days, it’s not just about the threat environment in a highly polarized, hypercharged environment that we’re in right now. It is very much about a capacity assistance to the Capitol Police as they begin to flesh out and develop what they’re going to need long term to deal with a new reality on Capitol Hill.” 

According to Fox News, the Department of Defense is considering issuing involuntary activation orders to keep the National Guard at the Capitol. 

This consideration comes after Austin said he will extend the Guard presence until May. 

For two months, the U.S. Capitol has looked like a complete war zone: razor wire fencing, thousands of troops circling the premises and increased police presence throughout the city. 

But, there is no proof of any credible threat. 

Ultimately, it seems as though team-left is using the National Guard to instill fear and send a message to Americans: we are in charge now. 

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