With recriminations between the Army and D.C. officials and Capitol Police about failures to protect the Capitol from a mob on January 6 still ongoing, the Army is ramping up its ability to deploy additional National Guard (Guard) troops in Washington, D.C. I earlier wrote about the 6,200 Guard troops already flown into D.C. from nearby states.
Unlike prior deployments, such as the BLM riots in May-June, some of these troops have now come to the city armed, though they are patrolling without weapons, for now.
These 6,200 Guard troops may soon see even more reinforcements.
Based on growing concerns and intelligence of possible armed protestors entering D.C. for the Inauguration and a so-called ‘Million Militia March,’ Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, is reportedly authorized to bring up to 15,000 Guard members into the city.
Based on prior events, these troops will likely be earmarked and possibly forward deployed near the city in anticipation, but not employed until formally requested by D.C. officials, including Mayor Muriel Bowser.
NBC4 Washington reported that the General said the number of deployments is constantly changing based on requests from the Secret Service, the Park Police and the Capitol Police. Recent reports have also shown the FBI sees warnings of a “huge uprising” if the 25th Amendment is invoked in an attempt to remove President Trump.
Protest activity could begin as early as January 17.
As I noted earlier, the outgoing Capitol Police chief complained that he requested Guard support six times just prior to, and during the attack and riot on the Capitol. In response, Pentagon and Guard officials have said they reacted as quickly as they could as the situation spiraled out of control, but the Guard is not a rapid reaction force.
The Capitol Police repeatedly turned down offers for help in the days before the protests, apparently due to concerns about a military presence at the Capitol, magnified by the partisan and media outrage when President Trump tried to use the Guard and other troops during the mob riots outside the White House in the early summer.
According to a timeline provided by the Pentagon, on Jan. 3, three days prior to the planned pro-Trump Capitol protests, offers to support to Capitol Police were rejected: “DoD [Department of Defense] confirms with U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) that there is no request for DoD support.”
In that same Pentagon timeline, notes NBC News, on Jan. 4, two days prior to the protests, the Capitol Police confirmed again in a call with the Army secretary that there was no request for DoD help.