Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, March 11, 2021
The Washington, D.C. militarized zone, also known as “Fort Pelosi”, will be in place at least until May 23, the Pentagon said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday night approved a U.S. Capitol Police request to extend the National Guard deployment of 2,300 troops.
Critics asked why the decision was made since no credible threats have arisen since the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol building.
“It’s a collusion of stupidity,” said Heritage Foundation security analyst Jim Carafano, who questioned the need for miles of razor wire-topped fencing surrounding the Capitol complex, a two-month extension, and calls for a quick reaction force.
“It doesn’t pass the commonsense test,” Carafano told the Washington Examiner. “You’re gonna have a mob show up in Washington with no notice whatsoever?”
Carafano added: “If there is a security concern that really justifies this, there’s a double obligation to explain to the American people how this isn’t just some political ploy or just somebody who’s being incredibly risk-averse for no reason.”
Since Jan. 6, the D.C. militarized zone has had a high point of 26,000 troops (during Joe Biden’s inauguration) and a low point more recently of 5,100 citizen soldiers.
The cost to taxpayers for the original deployment, which had been scheduled to end on Friday, was estimated to be $483 million.
Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, president of the National Guard Association, said he has not seen the intelligence that prompted the extension, but added that it is not the Guard’s role to question threat assessments.
“This particular mission set has been especially difficult because of all of the different states and territories and the district that had been involved.”
National Guard personnel from 30 states, territories, and the District of Columbia are currently involved in the mission that, at one point, included all 54.