Saturday, February 10, 2018

Parade For Profit

Soon after President Trump announced that he had asked the Department of Defense to plan a military parade, military historian, former military strategist, and New America fellow Robert Bateman 

heard from 14 stars worth of generals. Not a single one supported this. Many told me their stories of how they personally avoided parades as cadets or young officers. And that is just the generals. My inbox was flooded from enlisted and officers of lower ranks.

Theirs were practical considerations. Bateman explains

most of the time soldiers do not parade for show, and doing it requires practice. It is not natural, nor something generally done outside of basic training...

If you are bringing in 40,000 troops, they have to live, sleep, and eat somewhere. The bases near D.C. do not have the capacity to suddenly house that many temporary duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. So it’s either tents or hotels. Since the optics of tents would be somewhat problematic, I would guess it’s hotels. But whatever, it is just money, right?

Washington-area bases do not have the capacity for 40,000 soldiers who must sleep and eat somewhere, Bateman realizes. Thus, I would guess it's hotels.

What Washington, DC hotel could accomodate many of those soldiers and provide security- at government expense, of course?

That would be the Trump International Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.  There are 263 rooms in the facility. At $325 per night, that is a princely sum of $85,475 and a tidy profit for one Donald J. Trump. And that would be for only one night- not including meals- and it's likely that the Chief Executive would specify that the soldiers remain more than one night.

Imagine also the possibility of creating additional sleeping space in the hotel.  The possibilities aren't endless, but they're certainly lucrative.

This wouldn't be a first for President Trump. In October The Hill reported that over a period of several months (mostly February-April), the US Secret Service had paid Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort at least $63,000 for what is believed to be either rooms agents rented or space that was leased. Further, that same month, USA Today pointed out "The Secret Service has spent at least $137,505 to rent golf carts to protect President Trump this year at his private clubs in New Jersey and Florida."

"I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud," Louisiana Republican John Kennedy said in criticism of Trump's idea That's eloquent and sound, but unlike confidence, money talks, and Donald Trump will rip off the federal government any way he can.

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