Trump wants to have a massive military parade — here’s what they look like around the world

President Donald Trump’s plans for a military parade in Washington, DC, appear to be in the early stages of planning.

The plan is already facing funding challenges, as well as criticism about the message that military parades send.

US military parades that don’t celebrate events like the Fourth of July or a victory in a war are rare – though Presidents Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy had military equipment and troops at their Inauguration Day parades.

Though military parades are often associated with undemocratic or authoritarian governments, democratic nations like France and the UK also have them. The Washington Post reported that Trump was inspired to host one after being a guest at France’s Bastille Day parade last year.

Here’s what military parades look like around the world.


The UK has parades for several reasons — soldiers returning home, official inspection ceremonies, and royal events like Queen Elizabeth’s birthday.


Traditional uniforms are usually worn for these events.


France has a military parade every year on July 14 to celebrate Bastille Day.


Trump went to the Bastille Day parade last year, which reportedly inspired him to have one in the US.

Source: Washington Post


Russia holds a military parade every year on May 9 to celebrate the end of World War II — or as it calls it, the Great Patriotic War.

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A parade in Moscow in 2015.
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Reuters

The Russians have used this parade to show off new equipment, like the T-14 Armata tanks in 2015.

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Reuters

The Victory Day parade also involves a flyover of Russian jets.

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Russian Sukhoi Su military jets, including Su-35S Super-Flanker fighters, fly in formation during the Victory Day parade in 2016.
source
Reuters

India holds a military parade every year on January 26 to mark the adoption of the country’s constitution.


This parade is usually designed to intimidate Pakistan.

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The parade in 2018.
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Reuters

But it’s also an opportunity to show off.

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Indian police motorcycle riders, called Daredevils, perform during the parade in 2018.
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REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

Iran holds a military parade to commemorate the Iran-Iraq War.

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Members of the Iranian army march in Tehran in 2011.
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Reuters

Iran often uses these parades to show a hatred of the West, particularly of the US.


Saudi Arabia has started to hold parades as its military becomes more modern.

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A Saudi parade in 2016.
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Reuters

Sometimes those parades involve combat exercises.

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Reuters

China has perhaps the most extravagant military parades. The parade last year involved 12,000 troops, 129 aircraft, and over 500 tanks, missile launchers, and other vehicles.

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CHANNEL90seconds newscom/YouTube

Source: Daily Mail


But Chinese military parades, usually held in front of the Tiananmen Gate, celebrate events like the foundation of the People’s Republic of China.

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Troops in China’s People’s Liberation Army during the parade in September 2015.
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Reuters

North Korea is notorious for its military parades.

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A military parade in Pyongyang in July 2013.
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Reuters

Most of the military equipment in the parades dates back to the Cold War.

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A parade in April 2017.
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Reuters

But what typically gives observers pause is North Korea’s displaying its missiles during the parades. The US has not done so since the middle of the Cold War.


North Korea is not the only nation to flaunt its missiles — China often displays numerous different models at its parades …

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Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles travel past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade in September 2015.
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REUTERS/Andy Wong/Pool

… as does Russia during its Victory Day parade …

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A Russian Yars RS-24 intercontinental-ballistic-missile system drives during a rehearsal for the parade in 2015.
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REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

… as well as Iran.

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A military truck carries a Qadr H missile during a parade in 2015.
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Reuters