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article imageTroops in Washington DC area ordered back to their bases

By Ken Hanly     Jun 6, 2020 in Politics
A US official told Reuters that the Pentagon will be sending back to their home bases, the remaining 900 active-duty troops who were sent to Washington DC for potential use to control civil unrest.
Troops to be sent back to bases from Washington DC area
The official, who insisted on remaining anonymous, claimed that US Defense Secretary Mark Esper had made the decision and that the troops would b transferred back to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York state. Last Thursday, the Pentagon ordered about 700 active-duty troops from the 82nd Airborne Division to return to Fort Bragg. The troops were not actually used to control protests in the National Capital Region but were only on standby in case they were needed. President Trump had suggested he might invoke the Insurrection Act which would allow him to use the military to control protests following the police murder of George Floyd. The official noted that there were already enough National Guard in Washington to control protests. There are about 5,000 National Guard members in the US capital or on their way there to assist law enforcement.
Washington has been rocked by a whole week of protests against police brutality and racism after a white police officer killed George Floyd a black by kneeling on his neck for about nine minutes in Minneapolis. Shops and offices have been hit by night-time vandalism causing Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to impose a 7 PM curfew on Monday and Tuesday. However, the situation seems now relatively under control.
Situation seems to be under control
Defense officials claimed that more active-duty troops would leave the Washington DC area on Friday. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said to reporters on Friday that the 91st Military Police Battalion had orders to return to their base in Fort Drum New York: “We have had four peaceful days in a row. We’re projecting a fifth. We’re in a good posture because we’ve been able to generate enough personnel from the National Guard standpoint.”
Roughly 1,600 active-duty US troops had been deployed to US military bases around Washington DC earlier in the week as a back up in case they were needed to control protests. Only several hundred will remain according to a defense official and even they will leave as conditions permit. Even Trump it seems has decided for now that US active troops are not needed to control protests.
More about Washington dc, Protests in Washington DC, Mark Esper
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