Pentagon Postponing President Trump’s Military Parade

Anadolu Agency  Anadolu

President Donald Trump has been a big promoter of his planned military parade on November 10.

"The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America's military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I", Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said in a statement.

This week, military planners concluded in a report that hasn't yet been released that the cost could reach $92 million, and stretch across several government agencies, a US defense official said earlier Thursday.

This new estimate came from a USA defense official who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.

An administration official told CNN the $92 million figure for the U.S. military parade, which was first reported by CNBC, was a planning estimate for an event that would meet President Donald Trump's intent.

CNBC reports that $50 million for the parade will come from the Pentagon, and the remaining $42 million will come from agency partners like the Department of Homeland Security.

Officials said the parade plans had not yet been approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Trump apparently first got the idea for a military parade after witnessing France's Bastille Day celebrations.

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Earlier today, NBC reported the costs of the parade had skyrocketed. 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.

Trump's military parade is now estimated to cost taxpayers $80 million more than the original figure.

The Department of Defense and its interagency partners have updated their perspective cost estimates for the parade, according to a USA defense official with firsthand knowledge of the assessment.

Held on Veterans Day, the parade would include troops and equipment from all five branches of the armed services, and would celebrate the history and accomplishments of the U.S. military, from the Revolutionary War, up to the present day. Trump tweeted after meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. 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 Pentagon said the parade was planned to travel from the White House to the Capitol, and would feature a "heavy air component at the end". As the invited guest of French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump watched enthusiastically from a reviewing stand as the French military showcased its tanks and fighter jets, including many US-made planes, along the famed Champs-Elysees.

The American Legion's national commander, Denise H. Rohan, issued a statement that said the parade money would be better spent on funding the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"We're going to have to try to top it, but we have a lot of planes going over and a lot of military might, and it was really a lovely thing to see, and representatives from different wars and different uniforms", he added.

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