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Biden’s inauguration: D.C. Troop Levels Five Times As High As Iraq & Afghanistan

WASHINGTON The inaugural platform from behind riot barriers, eight days before the inauguration

On January 06, a mob of Trump supporters were able to overwhelm police and storm the U.S. Capitol, resulting in the deaths of five people. Ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, no chances are being taken with security and much of central Washington is ringed with security checkpoints, razor wire, fencing and concrete barricades. The moves to enhance security came as a result of the embarrassing breach at the Capitol but also due to FBI warnings of armed protests in all 50 states, along with direct threats against Washington.

The level of trepidation was highlighted by moves to vet thousands of military personnel amid fears of an insider attack with at least two arrests made in connection with events at the Capitol. The scale of the security effort becomes evident when the number of National Guard members in Washington is compared to the number of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least 25,000 National Guard members are being sent to D.C. from all over the U.S. and that’s five times the troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan combined where approximately 2,500 service members are still serving, according to a recent Department of Defense announcement. 900 U.S. troops are aso reportedly still on the ground in Syria.

Historically, inaugurations have always seen heavy security but Washington has never experienced an operation on this scale before. Around 8,000 Guard members were deployed for Trump’s inauguration ceremony in 2016 in addition to the regular Secret Service and law enforrcement presence. Up until now, protests that occurred across the country since the end of last week have been sparsely-attended and calm, raising hopes that events in Washington will pass without incident. As impressive as the security arrangements are, however, they do graphically illustrate the scale of division in the U.S. today as the country prepares for the first term of President Biden.

Infographic: D.C. Troop Levels Five Times As High As Iraq & Afghanistan | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Anti-Government Extremist Groups In The U.S.  

Washington 2021 storming of the United States Capitol (cropped)

The growing threat from anti-government groups in the U.S. was highlighted by the shocking events at the Capitol on January 06 when the far-right Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Boogaloo Bois and The Proud Boys were spotted among the crowds of Trump supporters storming the country’s seat of power. Experts had been warning about the increasing influence of such groups for years, particularly since Charlottesville. The FBI are now warning that armed protests are set to occur in all 50 states head of Joe Biden’s inauguration. So how many anti-government groups are active in the U.S. today?

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a prominent U.S. civil rights group, identified 576 extreme anti-government groups in 2019, 181 of which were militias. That represents a reduction on the 612 groups documented in 2018 and it is also far fewer than the 1,360 that were active in 2012. The decline in active groups under Trump is a common historic pattern when Republican presidents are in office.

The Southern Poverty Law Center states that anti-government groups in 2019 generally defined themselves as “being opposed to the ‘New World Order’, being engaged in groundless conspiracy theorizing or advocating or adhering to extreme anti-government doctrines”. They continue by adding that they have a president in office who shares a penchant for conspiracy theories such as “the deep state” and that the groups have now found themselves on the same side as the federal government they long sought to overthrow. That led to an increasing focus on white nationalism, particularly hostility towards Muslims and immigrants.

Joe Biden’s election and Trump’s energization of his base via false information concerning election fraud has brought the government back into the crosshairs and a return of the sentiment towards overthrowing it. That sentiment became a shocking reality on January 06 and the possibility of a repeat performance is now being taken very seriously judging by the fact that up to 25,000 National Guard troops are set to be deployed on the streets of Washington to quell any outbreaks of violence.

Infographic: Anti-Government Extremist Groups In The U.S. | Statista   more infographics at Statista

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