TAKE OUR POLL: President Trump wants a military parade. Should we?

Feb 08, 2018
In this handout from the British Army, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride down the Champs Elysees at the start of the annual Bastille Day Parade July 14, 2004 in Paris, France. The Grenadier Guards were guests of the French Government to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale, a treaty of friendship signed in 1904. (Photo by Mike Harvey/British Army via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to explore organizing a major military parade in Washington, D.C.

During his visit to France in July, the president was impressed by the Bastille Day parade of military tanks, armored vehicles, gun trucks and uniformed soldiers marching down the Avenue des Champes-Elysees as fighter jets flew over the Arc de Triophe.

Trump later said the spectacle was “one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen,” adding that it was a “tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France.”

But the United States traditionally has not embraced such displays of military might in the way that authoritarian countries have, and leaders of both parties have warned of drawbacks, including Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who called it a waste of money, and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said it risks being “kind of cheesy and a sign of weakness” if it’s just about showing off military hardware.

The White House, however, is pushing ahead with the plan, with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis saying Wednesday that the plan reflect Trump’s respect for the armed forces.