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Defense Secretary overruled Army recommendation to reduce number of National Guard troops at Capitol

March 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 17%. 1 min read.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's decision to keep nearly 2,300 National Guard troops on Capitol Hill security duty through May 23 came after the secretary decided against an Army recommendation that less than half that number was actually needed to support US Capitol Police.

(CNN)Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's decision to keep nearly 2,300 National Guard troops on Capitol Hill security duty through May 23 came after the secretary decided against an Army recommendation that less than half that number was actually needed to support US Capitol Police.

But it comes as the Pentagon has been facing withering political criticism that it failed to quickly provide National Guard forces that day and amid mounting opposition to the current security posture on Capitol Hill.

In a March 9 statement approving the extended deployment the Pentagon said "DOD officials will work with the U. S. Capitol Police to incrementally reduce the National Guard footprint as conditions allow. "

The current understanding, the source told CNN, is that US Capitol Police does not have the staffing to provide security post-January 6 even with a reduced threat, so the National Guard is bridging the gap.

"The National Guard estimates the cost for the extension of the mission from March to May at $111 million," a Guard official told CNN.

by summa-bot

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