U.S. pundits keep comparing Washington to a war zone. People who know war disagree.

A massive security operation is underway in Washington ahead of President-elect Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, two weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

As images of National Guard troops circulate online, some in the United States have compared the capital to a war zone. The commentary has drawn pushback from people who have lived or worked in areas actually beset by conflict, who say such remarks are misleading and trivializes the reality of war.

“It’s extremely degrading to people who have actually lived through war and foreign occupation and have actually seen tanks rolling down their streets and foreign soldiers occupying their land or their own soldiers deployed against them,” said Jasmine el-Gamal, a former Pentagon adviser who worked in Iraq as a translator following the U.S. invasion in 2003. “That’s a conflict situation. That’s a war zone.”