A newly obtained memo shows that the National Guard chief of bureau sought to withdraw 2,280 troops from the nation’s capitol, but was overruled by Biden-nominated Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The memo, obtained by Fox News, shows that the National Guard chief Daniel R. Hokanson, a four-star general who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sought to pull the troops due to mission “overstretch” and the “indefinite nature” of the D.C. security mission.
“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,” the National Guard chief’s memo stated.
Furthermore, the general also expressed his concern about maintaining even reduced troop levels to remain in Washington D.C..
“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.
The report reveals the National Guard chief’s concern that his troops were “already over-stretched due to coronavirus constraints, civil disturbances and wildfires.” Fox News’s Gillian Anderson produced a copy of said memo:
On Tuesday, the news broke that the Pentagon was considering involuntary activation orders to keep the National Guard troops in the capitol.
“The deliberation on a mandatory activation of reservists comes just one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he will be extending the National Guard troop’s time stationed at the U.S. Capitol until May 28, following a request from Capitol Police,” Fox News reported, based on a McClatchy scoop.
The Pentagon would not commit to ruling out that troops would remain permanently stationed in the capitol.
“I don’t think anyone can answer that question right now,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told Fox News.
The militarization of the nation’s capitol is a heavy contrast with the deliberately lax security at the Electoral College session of Congress on January 6th, which contributed to the planned storming of the Capitol Building.
Major General William J. Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, confirmed that capitol security had been deliberately weakened by civilian authorities due to purported concern about “optics,” the general stated in Congressional testimony in March.
Furthermore, the commanding general made it clear that such concerns were “unusual” and had not been raised during similar civil disturbances in Washington D.C. in the past.
Speaker Pelosi’s role in the delays over authorizing National Guard troops was confirmed by the testimony of the former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving.
It should be noted that the Pentagon placed limits on the National Guard’s ability to mobilize and prepare for the riots, the Washington Post reported. President Trump also requested that 10,000 National Guard troops be at the capitol.
“Former President Trump told Fox News late Sunday that he expressed concern over the crowd size near the Capitol days before last month’s deadly riots and personally requested 10,000 National Guard troops be deployed in response,” Fox News reported.
The Washington Post on Tuesday, while claiming to have debunked the president’s request for more National Guard troops, actually corroborates it. The WaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler tucks the nugget within a story headlined “Trump falsely claims he ‘requested’ 10,000 troops rejected by Pelosi.”
“[Acting Defense Secretary Christopher] Miller and other senior Pentagon officials never relayed the 10,000 figure to anyone outside the Defense Department, according to a former U.S. official who was familiar with the matter,” the WaPo report said.
“They didn’t act on it because based on discussions with federal and local law enforcement leadership, they didn’t think a force of that size would be necessary,” the former official said.
The Pentagon buried the request and did nothing to act on it.