The US president will not invoke federal authority over the National Guard as of yet, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has said. The decision to call in the troops rests with states’ governors, he added.

“We’re not going to federalize the Guard at this time,” Robert O’Brien said, as quoted by Reuters.

Governors and mayors will remain in charge of making law enforcement decisions amid the ongoing mayhem over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police.

President Donald Trump has previously warned that state and city authorities should employ tougher tactics while dealing with the nationwide riots. Otherwise, the federal government will use the “unlimited power of our military” and make “many arrests.”

“Federalizing” means placing National Guard members – sometimes called citizen-soldiers – under the operational command of the Pentagon and the commander-in-chief, with an active-duty military officer assuming the chain of command. 

The US National Guard was previously federalized for the purposes of Washington’s interventions abroad, including the 2003 Iraq War and the invasion of Afghanistan. At home, the scheme was also used in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

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