World

Trump Cancels Military Parade Over Cost, Blames Local Politicians

Trump Cancels Military Parade Over Cost, Blames Local Politicians

Opponents to President Donald Trump's plans for a costly military parade in Washington now include the American Legion, the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization.

US officials had told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that the parade would cost about $92 million, citing preliminary estimates more than three times the price first suggested by the White House. The remainder would be borne by other agencies and largely involve security costs. A new estimate from the department found that the parade was going to cost almost $100 million - an outrageous price tag for what amounts to a vanity project for history's most insecure president.

In February, Trump asked the Pentagon to explore a parade in celebration of American troops, after the Republican president marveled at the Bastille Day military parade he attended in Paris a year ago. "It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis later told reporters he "had received no such estimate" and said he would "discount that".

The official also noted that while the size and scope of the military parade can still shift, the plans now include approximately eight tanks, as well as other armored vehicles, including Bradleys, Strykers and M113s.




Sources had told NPR's Tamara Keith and Tom Bowman last February that the cost could be anywhere from $3 million to $50 million. The parade was planned to go along Pennsylvania Avenue, passing the Capitol, the White House, and the Trump International Hotel.

The official also said that experts put to rest concerns about whether the Abrams tank, which weighs just shy of 70 tons, would ruin infrastructure in Washington.

In 1991, tanks and thousands of troops paraded through Washington to celebrate the ousting of President Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War. But the veterans group believes that with troops still deployed overseas in the fight against terrorism, "the parade money would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veterans Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible".

"The American Legion appreciates that our President wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation's support for our troops,"American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan said in a statement Thursday night. I mean, we're going to be showing our military".


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