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Up to 25,000 National Guard troops to be in D.C. on Inauguration Day

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Following last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, at least 25,000 National Guard troops will be in the nation’s capital for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday to bolster security, the National Guard Bureau (NBG) confirmed on Friday.

“The Defense Department has agreed to provide up to 25,000 service members to support the Presidential Inauguration National Special Security Event […] led by the U.S. Secret Service,” an NBG news release reads. “The Department of the Army and the National Guard Bureau are working on a sourcing solution now to support this request.”

National Guard troops will pour in from all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia to take part in this massive security operation.

This development comes after Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy on Thursday authorized up to 21,000 National Guard troops from across the nation to help law enforcement with security for the January 20 event, according to the NGB. The final number of troops will be set by the Secret Service.

Ever since a mob violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the amount of Guard troops in Washington has steadily increased. Reporter Jennie Taer has been on the ground in Washington and has confirmed that to be the case.

“I observed the National Guard deployed to the Capitol on Thursday,” Taer told this reporter. “They lined the fence that’s been put up to secure the grounds. I also spent time on Friday with the Pennsylvania National Guard here in D.C. They were at least a mile from the Capitol and were directing traffic, only allowing those with essential worker and business paperwork to pass through to the roads that are right now closed to the public.”

The Capitol riot resulted in the deaths of five people. In its aftermath, the Pentagon was criticized for not taking the threats of extremists seriously enough that day, only having 340 unarmed Guard members in Washington. Many comparisons have been drawn to this summer’s racial justice protests and riots in the nation’s capital, which saw the National Guard act quickly and aggressively in arresting and dispersing people.

Thousands of Guard troops have been securing the city in the lead-up to Biden’s inauguration, with them stationed around the U.S. Capitol and other vital places.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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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.”

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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