An unnecessary flexing of American military might

In response to reports that President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare for a military parade in the US capital, Julian de Medeiros from the University’s School of Politics and International Relations said: ‘The move follows a broader trend for increased military spending in the Trump administration’s budget for 2017 and 2018.

‘Last year Congress approved an additional $15 billion for the Pentagon’s 2017 spending. As for 2018, Trump has worked with congress to move towards an unprecedented $85 billion military budget. Efforts are also underway to eliminate existing budget caps for military spending for 2019.

‘This comes one day after Congress signed a provisionary spending bill that would keep the government open for another six weeks, in exchange for increased military spending until October. It is unlikely that the Senate will confirm the measure unless military spending is matched by domestic spending. Yet Trump has already suggested that he would welcome another shutdown.

‘After insinuating that Democrats who had not clapped during the State of the Union were traitors, the timing of the parade will only further escalate the heated debate about Trump’s authoritarian tendencies.

‘It has been nearly three decades since a US President last staged a national military parade. George Bush senior ordered the biggest military parade since WWII to mark the end of the First Gulf War.

‘It is likely that Trump’s intentions to hold a similar military parade on the fourth of July will lead to domestic and international condemnation. And while the parade is supposedly inspired by Trump’s attendance at the 2017 French parade to mark Bastille Day, Trump’s decision will be seen as an unnecessary flexing of American military might in an already turbulent domestic and international political environment.’

Julian de Medeiros

Julian de Medeiros is a seasoned commentator on Post-Truth politics in the US and Turkey. His writing has appeared frequently in OpenDemocracy and Research Turkey. His next book is titled ‘Conspiracy Theory in Turkey: Democracy, Protest, and Post-Truth.’ He is also writing a book on Post-Truth Politics in America for McGil Queens UP. He is a native of Massachusetts and resides in London.

He holds an MA degree in North American and British Cultural Studies from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and is expected to receive his PhD in Comparative Politics from the University of Kent in 2018.