President Donald Trump has requested a military parade to The U.S. Department of Defense. After observing the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris last year, Trump said he wanted to hold a similar parade on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, perhaps to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The French parade was held last July and featured more than 6,000 service members, tanks and planes overhead in an elaborate display of military might. French President Emmanuel Macron invited Trump to watch the parade beside him.
According to the officials Trump’s desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive. “The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said anonimously a military official because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential.
There is a lot of reasons why the parade is a bad idea. The last major U.S. military parade was in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War and it cost $22 million in today’s dollar. Shows of military strength are not typical in the United States and they don’t come cheap. The cost of shipping Abrams tanks and high-tech hardware to Washington could run in the millions, and military officials said it was unclear how they would pay for it. Instead, all these money could be better used elsewhere. Plenty of vets still need health care and maneuver battalions could use more training funds.
Also, a lot of officials including John Kirby, a retired Navy rear admiral and former spokesman for the State Department and the Pentagon think Trump’s military parade is a bad idea. According to Kirby, the United States don’t need a parade to show their military strength as it is already recognized as the leader of the NATO alliance and a model of military professionalism that countries across the global seek to emulate.