Trump Takes Credit For Cancellation of His Own ‘Ridiculously’ Expensive Military Parade

Anadolu Agency  Anadolu

A military parade ordered by US President Donald Trump for later this year has been postponed until at least 2019, a defense official said Thursday (Aug 16), following reports the cost had soared to over US$90 million.

This announcement came hours after CNBC reported that the event could cost $92 million, up from the original estimate of $12 million.

About $50m would cover Pentagon costs for aircraft, equipment, personnel and other support for the parade in November in Washington.

The announcement followed the latest estimate of $92 million for the cost of the display, a figure media outlets attributed to unnamed USA officials. "I want a parade like the one in France", he reportedly told military aides in February.

The President said he will instead "attend the big parade already scheduled at Andrews Air Force Base on a different date, (and) go to the Paris parade, celebrating the end of the War, on November 11th".

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"We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money", Trump said in June after meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

He initially suggested a Fourth of July parade, but in March a memo from the Office of the Secretary of Defense suggested it would be integrated with the existing D.C. Veterans Day parade. The official - who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that haven't been released yet - told AP the new projection is $92 million.

Critics have also compared the parade plan unfavourably to spectacles favoured by autocratic nations.

It later emerged that the drills cost about $14 million, a fraction of the price of a military parade.

U.S. media pointed out that Donald Trump cancelled planned military exercises with South Korea in June after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the grounds it would "save a fortune". 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 US-made planes, along the famed Champs-Elysees. Until now, the parade had been in the works, and was provided for in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, a piece of legislation signed every year that sets out the military's budget. "I mean, we're going to be showing our military".

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