Experts are slamming the Pentagon’s decision to extend National Guard deployment of 2,300 members at the U.S. Capitol until May 23 to protect against unknown threats, a decision that is also championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who continues to swipe at phantom threats to the Capitol.
Heritage Foundation security analyst Jim Carafano called the action “a collusion of stupidity” in a Washington Examiner interview. “It doesn’t pass the commonsense test. You’re gonna have a mob show up in Washington with no notice whatsoever?”
National Guard personnel have been stationed at the U.S. Capitol since the riots on Jan. 6. More than 25,000 troops guarded the Inauguration Day events.
Retired Gen. Russel Honoré recently recommended a quick reaction force always on the ready to respond to capital emergencies that could be composed of National Guard members on three or six month rotation. The general was selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to review Capitol security following the security breach on Jan. 6.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated Wednesday that the ongoing Guard presence includes more than threat protection. “It’s not just about the threat environment,” he said.
“In a highly polarized, hypercharged environment that we’re in right now, its 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.”
Cost increasingly becomes a question as Guard troops remain a long-term Capitol presence. The deployment originally intended to end today was estimated at $483 million, though the updated figure for the Guard’s extended presence has not been released.
The news comes as Rep. Lauren Boeber (R-CO) has launched a video ad calling on Pelosi to “tear down this wall.” The ad blames Democrat actions for the ongoing fence around the U.S. Capitol.
The U.S. Capitol needs protection, but Americans increasingly grow weary of National Guard troops as the best option. As the nation longs for a return to normal, citizens hope for more normality in Washington as well.