A group of House Republicans is asking the Defense Department to brief them on why thousands of National Guardsmen are expected to remain in D.C. until at least March, Fox News reports.
National Guard Bureau spokesman Wayne Hall confirmed to Fox News Tuesday that National Guard members will remain in the Capitol until at least mid-March.
“As we continue to work to meet the final post-inauguration requirements, the National Guard has been requested to continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members and will draw down to 5,000 through mid-March,” Hall told Fox News.
Acting Army Secretary John Whitley said at a briefing Monday that the FBI has been warned of several planned protests and potential unrest in the coming weeks that will require a Guard presence in the Capital.
“We are posturing our forces to be able to respond to those threats if they emerge,” Whitley said.
Several GOP lawmakers are criticizing the decision, saying the National Guard should be used as an absolute last resort.
12 GOP lawmakers wrote a letter to Whitley requesting a briefing regarding the decision for significant troop presence in D.C. through mid-March.
“Our intention is for the briefing to cover ongoing threats to the Capitol, justification of the decision for a significant troop presence through mid-March, and plans for troop utilization during the time period,” the letter says.
“As you know better than anyone, our National Guard men and women are deployed on short notice and pulled away from their families and jobs,” the letter continues.
“Further, the Guard has endured unprecedented stress on the force in the past year given COVID-19, social unrest, natural disasters, and ongoing overseas requirements. The National Guard should be used as an option of absolute last resort.”
The letter concludes, “We are seeking clarification and justification on behalf of the National Guard men and women that have kept us safe over the past month and year. We are seeking this threat assessment briefing as soon as reasonably possible and greatly appreciate your time and attention.”
Sen. Tom Cotton agreed, saying time it’s to send the troops home.
“The National Guard soldiers who deployed to protect the Capitol this month certainly deserve such gratitude. They deployed on short notice, leaving behind their families and jobs. Despite cold weather and uncomfortable conditions, these soldiers did their duty, in the finest traditions of the Guard,” Cotton said.
“Their presence, coupled with tough federal charges against the Capitol rioters, deterred any further violence; the presidential inauguration occurred without incident.”
“With the inauguration complete and threats receding, now it’s time, yes, to send home the troops.”
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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