‘Tanks but no tanks!’ Military parade planned by Trump to be held in November


WASHINGTON: A military parade requested by President Donald Trump will take place in November on Veterans Day in Washington DC, but to minimize damage to roads it will not include tanks, a Pentagon memo released on Friday said.

Last month Trump asked the Pentagon to explore a parade in celebration of American troops, after the Republican president marvelled at the Bastille Day military parade he attended in Paris last year. The memo listed a number of guidelines for the parade on November 11 and said the parade route will be from the White House to the Capitol and have a “heavy air component at the end of the parade.”

“Include wheeled vehicles only, no tanks – consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure,” the memo said.

It added that the parade would focus on the contributions of US military veterans throughout history, starting from the American Revolutionary War. Critics have argued that a parade could cost millions of dollars at a time when the Pentagon wants more stable funding for an over-stretched military. The parade will cost taxpayers up to $30 million, the White House budget chief has said.

Military parades in the United States are generally rare. Such parades in other countries are usually staged to celebrate victories in battle or showcase military might. In 1991, tanks and thousands of troops paraded through Washington to celebrate the ousting of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces from Kuwait in the Gulf War.

The District of Columbia Council had ridiculed the idea of a parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, the 1.9 km stretch between the Capitol and the White House that is also the site of the Trump International Hotel.

“Tanks but no tanks!” it tweeted last month.