Trump's Military Parade Postponed Indefinitely Amid Reports Of Overspending

Elias Hubbard
August 17, 2018

"The Department of Defence and White House have been planning a parade to honour America's military veterans and commemorate the centennial of first world war", said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning.

Manning provided no reason for the apparent postponement, which came amid a spate of news reports that the event, which is expected to include aircraft, vehicles, period uniforms and symbols of US power, could cost up to $92 million, far more than originally estimated.

A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was unclear exactly what caused the postponement but the increased cost of the event had caused concern and could be one reason.

An extravagant military parade planned by President Trump for November in Washington DC has been put on hold until next year.

CNBC reported Thursday that the $92 million figure would be split between the Pentagon, $50 million, and the Department of Homeland Security and other "interagency partners", $42 million.

The language "agreed to explore opportunities" is an exceptionally vague phrase - giving the distinct impression that Defense Department officials don't ever plan on holding the parade at all.

US President Donald Trump requested a parade after seeing France's Bastille Day event in 2017 and expressing a desire to "top it".

It was not immediately clear why the recent cost estimate was so much higher than the earlier one, and what exactly it included.

The parade's cost has become a politically charged issue, particularly after the Pentagon canceled a major military exercise planned for August with South Korea, in the wake of Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

It later emerged that the drills cost about $14 million, a fraction of the price of a military parade.

He initially suggested a Fourth of July parade, but in March a memo from the Office of the Secretary of Defense suggested it would be integrated with the existing D.C. Veterans Day parade. Their analysis found that, because of the vehicle's distributed weight and track pads, the streets of the nation's capital would not be compromised.

The cost and the symbolism of the parade - reminiscent, critics say, of shows of force by authoritarian governments - have generated criticism from Democrats and, privately, consternation among military officials at a time when the Pentagon is trying to demonstrate its might against competitors including Russian Federation and China.

"The American Legion appreciates that our president wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation's support for our troops".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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