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Pentagon Postpones Trump’s Military Parade to 2019 Amid Criticism Over Cost

Pentagon Postpones Trump’s Military Parade to 2019 Amid Criticism Over Cost”

The military and the White House have agreed to look at the possibility of staging the event in 2019, Pentagon spokesman Rob Manning said.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the parade would cost about $92 million - more than three times the maximum initial estimate, according to the Associated Press.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the cost estimate of about $92 million had not yet been approved by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and could still be changed and more options could be included.

President Donald Trump said in February that a military parade in Washington would be "great for the spirit of the country", but that it would need to come at a "reasonable cost".

Trump had called for the patriotic show of force previous year after watching France's Bastille Day celebration in the center of Paris at the invitation of the French president. "It was two hours on the button, and was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France".

Earlier on Thursday, a United States official told the AFP news agency the planning estimate for the event had ballooned to as much as $92m (£72m).

A veterans group said any money for the parade would be better spent on supporting military who are still fighting. "Any cost estimates are pre-decisional". 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.

The official also said that experts put to rest concerns about whether the Abrams tank, which weighs just shy of 70 tons, would ruin infrastructure in Washington. As noted at the time, the military parade was expected to cost as much as the "tremendously expensive" bilateral military exercise that Trump swiftly cancelled with South Korea in the wake of the historic Singapore summit. Big, heavy tanks could tear up streets in the District of Columbia.

The US had a military parade in 1991 following the end of its successful campaign to force Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait. "I mean, we're going to be showing our military".



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