Following the footsteps of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump has asked for a military parade and the Pentagon is reviewing potential dates, Pentagon spokesman Charlie Summers said Tuesday, CNN reports.
Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.
American shows of military strength don’t come cheap. The cost of shipping Abrams tanks and high-tech hardware to Washington could run in the millions, and military officials said it was unclear how they would pay for it.
In response to the news, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that “Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great servicemembers who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe. He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation,” Sanders said.
Trump was French President Emmanuel Macron’s guest on Bastille Day last year, and later called the French military parade he witnessed “one of the greatest parades” he had ever seen.
Outside of France, authoritarian nations the world over have made massive displays of military power a mainstay of their public celebrations.
The news of Trump’s call for a military parade in the US comes as North Korea plans to show off dozens of long-range missiles during a February 8 parade, sources with deep knowledge of North Korea’s intentions told CNN last week.
The parade is expected to include dozens of intercontinental-range Hwasong-15 missiles, which the North Koreans test-fired for the first time in late November, the sources said.