The 10,000 National Guardsmen set to be deployed to Washington, DC, by the weekend in advance of Inauguration Day represent roughly double the amount of troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
National Guard Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson told reporters Monday that about 10,000 reserve troops would be in DC by the weekend, with the potential for that number to rise as high as 15,000.
The eye-popping comparison — reported Tuesday by Business Insider — illustrates the extent to which authorities are going to secure the Beltway following a deadly Jan. 6 riot in which supporters of President Trump stormed the US Capitol, seeking to prevent Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
By comparison, Iraq and Afghanistan will each have about 2,500 US troops on the ground, effective Friday.
Federal authorities have faced fierce bipartisan criticism for getting caught flat-footed and short-staffed by the riot, which saw five people die, including a US Capitol Police officer.
The influx of National Guardsmen is among the enhanced security measures taken since the riot and ahead of Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
A 7-foot-high, non-scalable fence has been erected around the Capitol, the Washington Monument has been closed to visitors and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested and received a preemptive emergency declaration to step up security.
National Guardsmen in DC to outnumber troops in Iraq and Afghanistan The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.