Trump's military parade could cost more than $90 million

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 17, 2018

Manning says the Pentagon had "originally targeted November 10, 2018", for the Washington event, intended "to honor America's military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I".

In July, CNN reported that the parade would cost approximately $12 million, according to three unnamed USA defense officials.

Earlier on Thursday, a United States official told the AFP news agency the planning estimate for the event had ballooned to as much as $92m (£72m).

A military parade ordered by US President Donald Trump for later this year has been postponed until at least 2019, a defense official said Thursday, following reports the cost had soared to over $90 million. The Pentagon's portion of that tab was as high as $50 million, which would pay for equipment, troops, flyovers and support staff, the official said. The remainder would be been borne by other agencies and would include security costs.

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.

Trump decided he wanted a military parade in Washington after he attended France's Bastille Day celebration in the center of Paris a year ago. As noted at the time, the military parade was expected to cost as much as the "tremendously expensive" bilateral military exercise that Trump swiftly cancelled with South Korea in the wake of the historic Singapore summit. "The Washington Post estimated the cost of the 1991 victory parade as $8 million". In fact, there would be no tanks, only wheeled vehicles, due to concerns over damaging the streets (and possibly, because the Pentagon wanted to scale back the authoritarian theme). Those estimates were likely based on the cost of previous military parades, such as the one in the nation's capital in 1991 celebrating the end of the first Gulf War, and factored in some additional increase for inflation.

The parade, slated for November 10, is estimated to cost $92 million, the official said.

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.

"We're going to have to try to top it", Trump reportedly joked to Macron at the UN General Assembly in September.

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