A military parade down one of Washington’s broad avenues would seem to epitomize so much that is great about the United States, from the fine fiber of our troops to the might of their fighting machines. Such a spectacle — reportedly ordered by President Trump in a meeting last month with the top brass — would offer a stark contrast to the nation’s current woes and divisions.
And yet such a parade could do more harm than good to the military itself. At a time when each service member and defense dollar counts, and as Trump is pleading with Congress to lift the military from the depths of sequestration, this parade would put those scarce resources toward feeding the president’s ego instead of our national security.
Trump ordered up the parade after being impressed by the pageantry of a French military paradefor Bastille Day that he attended last summer in Paris. To be fair, the French have always had a flair for such things, and they’ve been doing them for more than a century; the 2017 parade was a dazzling display of martial pomp, tailored by French President Emmanuel Macron to flatter Trump by also commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. The parade worked its magic on Trump, who tweeted how it was a “great honor to represent the United States at the magnificent #BastilleDay parade,” and he came home with visions of American troops marching through the streets.
Read the full article in The Washington Post.