While Trump supporters bank on capital, the military is hoping to avoid political clashes
By Paul Sonne, Missy Ryan and Ellen Nakashima
Pentagon leaders brace themselves for renewed attempts by the president to use the military for political ends as Trump takes increasingly aggressive steps to overcome his election defeat and unarmed National Guardsmen prepare for pro-Trump protests in Washington on the day at which Congress should confirm the election results.
Senior Pentagon officials responded to a request from DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) to deploy National Guards in the country’s capital ahead of the protests on Wednesday. stressed that the guard would not carry firearms, use armored vehicles or helicopters, or receive support from units in other states – a far more subdued presence than it was in June after the Minneapolis police murder George Floyd.
The cautious stance reflects the Pentagon’s caution in the final days of a presidency as Trump tested the norms of a politically impartial military. It also comes after all 10 living former US Defense Ministers released a joint open letter Warning that the military should play no role in determining the election result or interrupt a peaceful transition.
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