Pentagon officials concerned as Trump threatens to use military to quell violence

WASHINGTON: Defense officials said Pentagon officials have been concerned after President Donald Trump announced Monday that he would deploy the military to maintain order inside the United States.

As tear gas wafted through the air in Lafayette Park across from the White House, Trump announced from the Rose Garden that if state or city leaders refuse “to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents,” he will invoke the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that allows a president to deploy the US military to suppress civil disorder.

But some Pentagon officials are deeply wary, several defense officials tell CNN. They have tried to respond by making a strong case that the situation does not yet call for deploying active duty troops unless state governors make a clear argument that such forces are needed.

“There is an intense desire for local law enforcement to be in charge,” a defense official said, alluding to the laws that forbid the military from performing law enforcement roles inside the United States.

There is also discomfort with the civil order mission among some National Guard troops — more of whom are now mobilized inside the US than at any previous time in history.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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