Pentagon puts off military parade until 2019

Pauline Gross
August 17, 2018

President Trump's planned military parade in Washington has been delayed until next year amid claims that it would cost nine times the White House's first estimate.

The American Legion said in a statement Thursday that money that will be spent on an upcoming military parade "would be better spent fully funding the Department of Veteran Affairs and giving our troops and their families the best care possible".

The remainder would be absorbed by other agencies and involve security costs. In February, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney estimated the cost to be from $10 million and $30 million.

Trump had called for the patriotic show of force a year ago after watching France's Bastille Day celebration in the center of Paris at the invitation of the French president.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn after arriving in Marine One from a recent trip to NY at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 13, 2018. "It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France".

His tweets, which did not elaborate on his allegations about the city government, came a day after the Pentagon said the parade might be postponed amid questions about the event's increasing costs.

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The final plan has not been approved by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, according to local media.

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

The estimate comes as the Department of Defense and others involved update their costs. However, the official insisted that analysis of the 70-ton Abrams tank found that it would not damage the streets.

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". In 1991, a massive parade was held to celebrate USA victory in the Gulf War, at a cost of $8 million. 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 USA -made planes, along the famed Champs-Elysees.

"The American Legion appreciates that our President wants to show in a dramatic fashion our nation's support for our troops", said Denise Rohan, national commander of the veterans' group. "I mean, we're going to be showing our military".

Other reports by GizPress

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