As national and global security issues continue to grip the attention of the United States, planning for President Donald Trump’s military parade is continuing. New details about the event, set for November 10, are now available via ABC News.
According to an unnamed official speaking to the outlet, 5,000 to 7,000 service members are set to march in the parade, which will take place in Washington, D.C. About 100 vehicles, 50 aircraft, and 100 horses will also be included in the event, according to the official, who had the information relayed to them after it was shared with Department of Defense leadership earlier this month. The official added that at present, approximately 50 DoD staff members are working on preparations for the parade, and by the time the week of the event rolls around, that number is expected to have ballooned to about 3,000, many of whom will be working on security.
All of these preparations are for an event that the president first dreamed up after attending Bastille Day celebrations last year in France, where he was the guest of French President Emmanuel Macron. The invitation underlying that visit was perceived as intended to patch up U.S./Europe relations, but considering the recent antagonism Trump’s displayed towards Europe through sanctions and other means, that effort failed. The only product is the impending U.S. military parade.
The event is currently expected to cost about $12 million, but as planning is still underway, that number could change. Still, it’s a sizable chunk of the nation’s money that Trump complained was being unfairly depleted by items like the joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea that were originally set to take place in August. Those exercises’ price tag is $14 million — right in the middle of the $10 and $30 million military parade cost estimate White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney provided the House Budget Committee in February.
In other words, Trump is opposed to wasteful spending — unless he isn’t.
There are other examples of Trump turning a blind eye to huge spending when it suits his purposes, too. For instance, his administration wants billions of dollars to put up a wall in between the United States and Mexico to help stop the undocumented immigration that Trump and his allies are so paranoid about. He’s so committed to that goal that he’s claimed he’s willing to refuse to sign a necessary spending bill later this year and let the government shut down if he doesn’t get the funding he wants.
He expressed his commitment to his military parade proposal to Fox News earlier this year, commenting:
‘I think it’s great for spirit, the military loves it, they love the idea… we have a great country and we should be celebrating it.’
A host of American political leaders have rebuffed the idea that it’s appropriate to spend massive amounts of money on a parade when there are plenty of other important things it could be used on, but Trump is hardly easily dissuaded and for now, preparations for the event are continuing.
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