By ASHRAF KHALIL and LOLITA C. BALDOR
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has approved the deployment of 700 unarmed National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., as the city prepares for trucker convoys that are planning protests against pandemic restrictions beginning next week. The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved the request from the District of Columbia government and the U.S. Capitol Police. The Pentagon says the troops will be used to assist with traffic control. Four hundred Guard members from the District of Columbia Guard will be joined by 300 Guard members from other states. The convoys follow the recent Canadian truckers’ protest of government pandemic restrictions.