As of Jan. 26, there are currently around 7,000 National Guard units remaining in D.C. A spokesperson for the guard said that these numbers will be whittled down to just 5,000 by mid-March, which means that thousands of Guardsmen will be sticking around the Capitol for nearly two months longer than they were initially told.
Retired Lt. Steven Rogers, a former member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force, believes that the continued presence of significant numbers of National Guard troops in D.C. is a cause for concern.
"The purpose of the National Guard is to supplement law enforcement agencies, to help them with crowd control, to help them with enforcing laws. Just to supplement their manpower. That job was done," said Rogers during an interview with NTD. "Unfortunately, what the message the American people are receiving is that this is slowly becoming an occupation force that is absolutely necessary."
Tens of thousands of National Guard troops were sent into the nation's capital following the unrest that occurred at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. But a spokesman from the National Guard said that their troops did not have to deal with any security concerns on Inauguration Day.(Related: 15,000 members of National Guard to be deployed in Washington, D.C. as security for Inauguration Day.)
It appears that the National Guard is acting on tips given to them by the FBI. Acting Army Secretary John Whitley said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned the National Guard about possible unrest in the coming weeks.
But Rogers doesn't believe this. He said that the troops' continued presence in the capital is "political," especially given the fact that there continues to be civil unrest in other parts of the country perpetrated by far-left organizations like Antifa and Black Lives Matter. These events, Rogers believes, are what actually require the National Guard's presence.
"Right now, I can only say this is political, what kind of message is being sent, it's not a good message for our world leaders," said Rogers.
"It's not a good message for the American people … It's time for these troops to come home. They're not cops, they have to be combat-ready. They have to be ready to fight wars, and I may add, they have to be ready to go to areas of the country when they're called upon to help law enforcement agencies."
The only upcoming event in Washington that may trigger potential civil unrest is the upcoming second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. According to the Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the trial is expected to begin on the week of Feb. 8.
Federal law enforcement officials state that the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate poses enough of a security risk to justify keeping 5,000 National Guard troops in Washington.
Officially, the National Guard troops that will stay in D.C. will stand by in case local and federal law enforcement units need their numbers supplemented.
The order to remain in Washington covers all members of the D.C. National Guard's 74th Troop Command at the rank of captain and below and aviation entities that are the rank of sergeant first class and below. The 113th Wing of the D.C. Air National Guard will remain as well, including mission support and medical staff.
All in all, the affected units constitute around 3,400 troops. Additional guardsmen will be brought in from Maryland. These troops will remain on duty until at least March 15.
To help its troops respond to threats, the National Guard is establishing a Quick Reaction Force made up of 500 Guard members that will be drawn up equally from both the Army and the Air National Guards.
The Quick Reaction Force will stand guard in certain portions of the city every day from midnight until noon of Feb. 28 to supplement the numbers of the D.C. Metropolitan Police.
Learn about what the government believes are threats to national security and the actual threats that they refuse to engage with by reading the latest articles at NationalSecurity.news.