Donald Trump may want a military parade, like some other countries have, but officials within the Pentagon are raising concerns about the parade’s price, disruption to military training schedules, and other factors, The Hill is reporting.
Reportedly inspired by France’s Bastille Day military parade, as French news website France24 reports, Trump has been angling the Department of Defense to put on a similar parade in the U.S. And Pentagon officials have been reportedly willing to make that happen; at least, at first.
Now, however, unnamed Pentagon officials are raising concerns about making the rubber meet the road, so to speak.
For starters, there’s the cost. Last week, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speculated that the parade’s cost could run from $10 million to $30 million, depending on length. However, a Pentagon official gave a much wider range of cost estimates, ranging from $3 million to as high as $50 million.
Some Pentagon officials have stated that they don’t know how the parade would be paid for. Currently, the Department of Defense’s budget does not have any money allocated for a parade. One option being floated is reportedly having private donations pay for at least parts of the parade, according to CNN. However, any donated money could not be used to pay for salaries of troops, or for the moving of equipment, by federal law.
The Department of Defense has worked up five options for a military parade, with price tags ranging from $3 million to as much as $50 million, a U.S. official told NPR. https://t.co/K8FQfWQQcO
— NPR (@NPR) February 16, 2018
On the subject of moving equipment, that’s creating a host of problems as well. That equipment is needed for training exercises, and moving it to Washington would take it away from where it is needed. Further, troops would be needed to guard it and maintain it, so say nothing of their actual participation in the parade itself. One Pentagon spokesperson said that’s not feasible or acceptable.
“We don’t have troops and units sitting around waiting to do a parade.”
One option on the table, which at the very least addresses the matter of moving equipment, is to have images and video of these things broadcast on screens, in much the same way a concert of sports event might display the action on large screens.
Meanwhile, at least one politician in Washington doesn’t want the parade to happen at all — or at least, not paid for with federal money. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland has introduced a bill that would bar federal money from being used to pay for a military parade, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“America doesn’t have to display its military might like North Korea or others who need to puff up their importance. The world understands our strength.”
Military officials are currently said to be looking at Veteran’s Day as the likely date of the parade.