President Donald Trump is planning a military parade on November 10 in D.C. that will cost $80 million more than originally estimated. Around a month after U.S. defense officials reported that that the parade would cost $12 million, the Department of Defense now estimates the total cost to be $92 million.
The Department of Defense’s updated cost estimate is composed of $50 million from the Pentagon and $42 million from interagency partners which includes the Department of Homeland Security. The $92 million will fund transportation, aircraft and temporary duty for the troops. To put this outrageous budget into perspective, the original parade budget of $12 million nearly cost the same amount as the U.S. military exercises with South Korea that Trump recently canceled upon North Korean President Kim Jong Un’s request. Upon the canceling of those war exercises, Trump called them “tremendously expensive.” Now, Trump is spending that “tremendously expensive” amount and $80 million more on the military parade.
Basically, Trump used the money from his agreement with dictator Kim to fund a massive military parade similar to that of North Korea’s military parades. The new cost estimate has received backlash from Democrats and even some Republicans over fears that the parade will look “totalitarian.” Earlier this year in response to the military parade plans, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said,
I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud. America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off. We’re not North Korea, we’re not Russia and we’re not China, and I don’t want to be,” Kennedy said. “And for that reason I would be against flaunting our strength. We don’t need to; everybody knows we have it.
U.S. Military parades are traditionally held after an era-defining triumph or military success. For example, the U.S. military held a D.C. parade after winning World War II. However, Trump’s parade will not mark a major military success. Instead, the parade will stroke Trump’s ego after he claimed he wanted “his people” to sit up at attention when he speaks like Kim’s “people” do.
According to a Pentagon spokesperson, the Defense Department plans to make the official announcement concerning the cost of the parade soon.