At the direction of the president, Pentagon generals have begun planning a grand parade on the streets of the U.S. capital to showcase American military might.
At a Jan. 18 meeting attended by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Trump set into motion his desire for a Bastille Day-inspired military spectacle, Pentagon officials confirmed Tuesday.
“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” a military official told the Washington Post, which added that the parade was being worked on by Pentagon brass.
Among the unresolved questions about the military display are how much it will cost taxpayers, the date the parade would be held, what role Trump himself will play in the festivities, and whether it would be a one-off event or something to be replicated.
The Trumps and the Macrons attending a military parade in Paris, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
When he traveled to Paris in July, Trump expressed his admiration for the Bastille Day display.
“It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” Trump gushed to 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.”
Of course, another nation known for its grandiose military parades is North Korea, whose authoritarian government has engaged the Trump administration with nuclear brinksmanship over the past several months.
While Vice President Mike Pence has not ruled out a meeting with Pyongyang officials when he attends the Olympic Games in Seoul, Pence will also be bringing the father of Otto Warmbier — the college student who died shortly after North Korea released him from prison — as a guest to the opening ceremonies, Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox reported.