- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis pushed back Wednesday against criticism that President Trump’s request for a military parade in Washington smacks of authoritarianism.

“I think we are all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” Mr. Mattis told reporters at the White House.

The president asked the Pentagon Tuesday to provide options for a military parade.

Mr. Mattis said the president would be presented with options.

Washington has held large military displays to celebrate victories in war, most recently in 1991 following the victory in the Persian Gulf War. But such parades have not been an annual tradition.

Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he was concerned by the president’s request for a “self-aggrandizing military parade.”

“That would be a grave misuse of military time and energy, and it is a disturbing indicator that President Trump apparently does not understand or care about the military’s actual readiness needs,” he said. “The military is not President Trump’s personal toy set.”

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