President Trump Cancels Military Parade, Citing 'Ridiculously High' Price

Frederick Owens
August 17, 2018

A military parade requested by U.S. President Donald Trump could cost more than $90 million (70.78 million pounds), a U.S. official said, citing provisional planning figures, almost three times an earlier White House estimate.

Col. Manning said the Thursday parade would honor America's military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I.

The White House estimated earlier this year that the parade would cost the taxpayer between $10 million and $30 million, and the Pentagon said it would feature a massive display of air power as its finale.

The official - who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that haven't been released yet - says about $50 million would cover Pentagon costs for equipment, personnel and other support for the November parade in Washington.

The parade's budget director had offered an estimate of between $10m (£7.8m) and $30m (£23.6m) when the White House announced its request in February.

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 past year.

Trump said the drills were provocative and that dumping them would save the United States "a tremendous amount of money".

Hours earlier, officials said costs had blown out to US$92 million.

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Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday said that the reports of a $92 million tab for the parade were inaccurate and that he has "received no such estimate".

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

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. An initial estimate last month pegged the prospective cost for the parade at $12 million.

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.

According to Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin, military leaders rolled their eyes at the parade idea when they first heard it. Big, heavy tanks could tear up streets in the District of Columbia. His staff is planning the parade along a route from the White House to the Capitol, and would integrate it with the city's annual veterans' parade.

Such large parades have been rare in recent US history, though the George H.W. Bush administration staged a military parade in Washington in 1991 after the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War.

Others suggested the money could be better spent improving the lives of destitute veterans.

The president praised the event and said: "We're going to have to try and top it".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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