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Trump asks Pentagon to plan a military parade

08 February, 2018, 13:15 | Author: Kristen Ingram
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Trump has long mused publicly and privately about wanting such a parade, but a January 18 meeting between Trump and top generals marked a tipping point, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

Among their objections: Military parades have traditionally been the hallmarks of totalitarian regimes, appearing in the parade would be an unwelcome distraction for rank-and-file servicemembers and it would make it seem like the military is promoting the president and not serving the Constitution.

President Donald Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, talk as they watch the annual Bastille Day military parade in Paris on July 14, 2017.

Mr. Trump has now told the military to make his wishes a reality. "'This is being worked at the highest levels of the military'".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has confirmed Mr Trump's intentions. "He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation", Sanders said.

The location also has yet to be decided, but the newspaper says the president wants it to proceed along Pennsylvania Avenue, a route that would send it past the White House, the Capitol and the Trump International Hotel.

At a September 18, 2017, NY meeting with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, Trump showed his hand.

An unnamed Pentagon official who spoke with the Post said that they were looking at various dates for a parade and said they preferred Veterans Day because the event would be less associated with the President or politics.

Military parades are unusual but not unprecedented in American history.

The federal government has sponsored military parades in the past, but they have generally been used to celebrate the end of a war, such as the 1991 parade held to honor those who served in the Gulf War. And Presidents Kennedy and Truman had military equipment at their respective inaugurations during the Cold War.

As for when the parade would occur, the Post reported the president would like to tie it to a patriotic holiday. For one thing, Washington's streets are not built to support 70-ton tanks. And while, sure, it'd be an event of good old nationalistic fun, many critics doubt this "priority" - for starters, such a show doesn't come for free, as it would cost millions (and be a logistical nightmare) to get all the required flashy military gear to Washington.

Last time, the USA has witnessed a grandiose military parade of this kind was in 1991 to mark the end of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq during the first Gulf War as missiles, stealth bombers, tanks and other military hardware were featured as hundreds of troops march down on Constitution Avenue. The heavy tanks and other armor will leave potholes on Pennsylvania Avenue. The parade in New York City cost around $4.7 million, according to a New York Times story at the time, which adjusted for today's dollars would be around $8.6 million.


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