The planned military parade President Donald Trump wanted ever since seeing a special Bastille Day parade in Paris, France, in 2017, gives people a few important points to ponder. *see end of article for continuing updates to this story
The foremost issue for many remains the fact that among the most vocally opposed to the parade Trump claims would honor active duty military and veterans, are active duty military and veterans.
A February 2018 Army Times poll—seen below—of active duty military personnel showed 89 percent opposed to the parade. The poll asked: “Should there be a parade showcasing troops and military equipment in Washington, D.C.?”
Recent cuts to veterans services—deemed necessary by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration—provoked strong veteran opposition to the parade as well.
Two headlines, a day apart:
“White House: U.S. can’t afford veterans’ health care without cuts”
“Initial cost for Trump military parade comes in at $12 million, DoD says” pic.twitter.com/p76PF56xq4
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) July 19, 2018
Veterans on social media suggested organizing a veterans march or counter protests in Washington DC on the day of the parade.
Now there is new information for the public to process regarding Trump’s parade: the actual cost.
According to a Pentagon report, the unpopular Trump mandated U.S. version of a parade of military strength will feature up to 7,000 servicemembers, 100 vehicles, 50 aircraft and 100 horses. So what is the estimated price tag for Trump’s Washington DC display set to rival the military parades of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?
The Department of Defense and the interagency partners handling the civilian logistics updated their cost estimate for the parade from the original $12 million to a whopping:
A lot goes in to staging any event. For the type of military display the President ordered the Pentagon to give him there are a multitude of logistical costs.
Logistics refers to the costs needed to transport, house and feed the active duty personnel being required to participate; the same for any non-human participants like horses and dogs; the transportation, fueling, maintenance and storage costs of any equipment to be used in the parade; and the costs of setting up, cleaning up and securing the venue for the parade.
Barricades and fencing as well as grandstands and viewing platforms will need to be set up and if not already in stock, purchased. Security personnel will need to be on hand to handle both spectators and any protesters. Everyone who works to set up, during the parade or after to tear down and clean up will need to be paid.
$92 million reflects an increase of $80 million over the original estimate which only accounted for a portion of the logistics required to mount the parade. If everything required for the parade already sat in Washington DC awaiting the go ahead, it might cost $12 million.
Such an excellent use of 92,000,000 million dollars. https://t.co/otCay7Dx2l
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) August 16, 2018
It costs another $80 million for the logistics of getting everything to that go point, then restore Washington DC to its pre-parade state afterward. The figure includes $50 million from the Department of Defense (DoD)—who needs to get their equipment and personnel to DC and back to their home bases—out of their fiscal year(FY) 2019 budget and $42 million from the interagency partners—likely including Homeland Security and the National Park Service—FY2019 budgets.