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Trump asks Pentagon to plan military parade to show US strength

February 07, 2018 14:24 IST

United States President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to plan a grand military parade, the White House has said, an unusual move aimed at showcasing the muscle power of the country.

A parade showcasing the military strength of a country is a common thing for many countries like China, France and India.

 

But there is no such annual parade in the United States, which is militarily the most powerful country of the world.

"President Trump is incredibly supportive of America's great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe. He has asked the Department of Defence to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation," the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

According to The Washington Post, Trump's interest in having a large-scale military parade now is likely to receive a mixed reception, especially among those who are concerned about nationalism, militarism or the president's past praise for authoritarian leaders.

The tradition stretches back centuries, but has been typically been tied to the conclusion of wars, the daily said.

The last such parade was held in Washington DC in June 1991 at the end of the Gulf War. The parade was then held on the Constitution Avenue.

Trump now wants this to be an annual feature.

The Pentagon and the White House are exploring various options.

Such an idea first came to Trump when he attended France's Bastille Day celebrations last year.

"It was one of the greatest parades I have ever seen. 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," he told reporters then.

"We are going to have to try to top it," he added.

The President reportedly asked for this during a meeting with his commanders and Defence Secretary on January 18.

"The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France," said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential.

"This is being worked at the highest levels of the military," the official was quoted as saying by the daily.

"We are aware of the request and are in the process of determining specific details. We will share more information throughout the planning process," the Defence Department spokesman Thomas Crosson said in a statement.

Image: The US Army band "Pershing's Own" marches in the parade carrying US President Donald Trump following his inauguration in Washington on January 21, 2017. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Lalit K Jha
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