About half of the National Guardsmen deployed in Washington DC will remain at the US Capitol through May 23, the Pentagon announced Thursday evening.
At the direction of Defense Secretary and Raytheon board member
what's his face Lloyd Austin, approximately 2,300 troops will remain stationed more than two months beyond their scheduled withdrawal scheduled for this week. There are approximately 5,100 Guardsmen at the Capitol at present.
"This decision was made after a thorough review of the request and after close consideration of its potential impact on readiness," said Pentagon spox John Kirby in a statement reported by The Hill.
As part of the protracted deployment, Pentagon officials will "work with the U.S. Capitol Police to incrementally reduce the National Guard footprint as conditions allow," said Kirby, adding "We thank the National Guard for its support throughout this mission, as well as for its significant efforts across the nation in combating the COVID-19 pandemic."
One may wonder why the National Guard and razor-wire fences have become part of Washington's ambiance. The answer, in part, is due to the belief in a left-wing conspiracy theory that Trump supporters would swarm the Capitol on March 4, when - as the legend has it, Trump would secretly be re-inaugurated on the historical anniversary of pre-1933 inaugurations before it was moved to January 20th.
Leftists who believe in such theories - such as the Russia Hoax, Jussie Smolett's 2am footlong craving, or that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was running a gang rape operation in college - are known as "Blue Anons," who traffic in mainstreamed fantasies about conservatives gone wild.
WHAT DOES "BlueAnon" MEAN?— Max Nordau (@MaxNordau) February 2, 2021
"Who paid Brett Kavanaugh's debts?"
"Why did Justice Kennedy resign?"
"The Capitol riot was planned by Republicans, and Capitol police collaborated."
"Detention centers are concentration camps."
and, obviously: "Trump is a Russian asset."
Any others? https://t.co/lSl9NJTvN9
As the Washington Post noted, March 4 came and went without much fanfare.
When asked what the new threat is requiring the National Guard's presence, Kirby demurred - saying "The Guard presence on the Hill, while certainly there to address a requirement that is based on law enforcement's concerns, is also there to help bolster and support the Capitol Police and their capabilities, which may not be at the level where it needs to be given the fact that we're in sort of a new environment in this country," adding "So it's not just about a threat assessment. It's about assisting and supporting capabilities that the Capitol Police may now lack and may need to look at improving on their own."
Quick reaction force?
After a Democrat-appointed "task force" was established to assess threats in DC, Army Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Russel L. Honoré told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that a "quick reaction force" be formed and placed on standby, because the city is "a high-value target for foreign terrorists or domestic extremists, yet it has no dedicated QRF for response to crises."
"The USCP relies on augmentation from other civilian law enforcement agencies for emergency support, but we recommend establishment of a robust, dedicated QRF, not only for the USCP, but to serve the nation’s capital writ large," the recommendation continues.
Which begs the question; How ever did DC get by all this time without one?