- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2018

Pentagon officials are still drafting options for the White House on how the department will carry out a unprecedented military parade on the streets of D.C. ordered by the Trump administration.

White House officials confirmed last month that Mr. Trump had directed Defense Secretary James Mattis and other senior staff to begin planning a grand military parade in the nation’s capital. On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning declined to provide details or confirm reports the administration was eying the upcoming Veterans Day or July 4th holidays.

Pentagon officials “are still in the process of developing options” for the parade, Col. Manning said, noting the Defense Department received a memorandum from National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster providing White House guidance on planning and execution of the parade.

Administration critics, including a number of former senior military officers, have lambasted the idea, claiming the parade would be a waste of defense budget dollars that could be used to finance more pressing national security requirements. Others argue such a public show of military might by the U.S. would too closely mimic propagandist actions taken totalitarian regimes such as North Korea and the former Soviet Union.

The only Western nation to hold a military parade like the one envisioned by the White House is France, whose parade celebrating the country’s Bastille Day inspired Mr. Trump to order a similar one for the American military



On Saturday, Mr. Trump defended the idea, saying the military’s senior brass and top Pentagon leaders were in favor of the parade.

“The generals would love to do it, I tell you, and so would I,” Mr. Trump told Fox News. “We’ll see if we can do it at a reasonable cost, and if we can’t, we won’t do it, but … I think it’s great for our country in terms of being a cheerleader and the spirit.”

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