Donald Trump orders Pentagon to plan grand military parade


In a move more evocative of North Korea than the U.S., President Trump recently ordered some of his highest-ranking officials to start planning a grand military parade through Washington, D.C., according to a Pentagon official.
"We are aware of the request and are looking at options," Pentagon spokesman Charlie Summers told reporters Tuesday evening.


Summers' confirmation came minutes after sources told the Washington Post that Trump mused about a parade featuring marching soldiers and rolling tanks during a Pentagon meeting on Jan. 18 with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford and other senior officials.

"The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France," a Pentagon source briefed on the discussions told the newspaper. "This is being worked at the highest levels of the military."
A date has not been set for the parade, but sources said Trump hopes to have it coincide with a patriotic holiday.
Trump has publically and privately fantasized about a large-scale armed forces parade ever since returning from the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris last summer. At the invite of French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump and First Lady Melania attended a pompous parade featuring French troops marching down the iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard.
En route home from France, Trump reportedly told aides that he wanted a similar parade back home.

The prospect of a parade was still on Trump's mind when he met with Macron at the United Nations General Assembly in New York several months later.

It was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen," Trump told reporters. "It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France."


But public displays of "military might" carry some questionable connotations that previous American presidents have tried to avoid.
With a handful of exceptions — including President George H.W. Bush's parade celebrating the Persian Gulf War victory in 1991 — presidents have argued that the world's most preeminent superpower doesn't need to publicly boast about its military. Such large-scale demonstrations of military prowess, U.S. officials have reasoned, are reminiscent of the Soviet Union and North Korea.
Will someone from (Kim Jong Un's) depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Trump tweeted on Jan. 2 after a feud with the North Korean dictator about nuclear capabilities.
Trump's parade hopes were widely roasted Tuesday night — even by some members of the military.
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