Outgoing US President Donald Trump will not be granted a military send-off as desired.
Two defence officials have confirmed to US national security publication Defense One no military farewell was planned for the commander-in-chief.
It will be a break from tradition and a bitter blow for Trump who, according to CNN, wanted a military send-off accompanied with “crowds of supporters”.
However it was his incitement of his followers two weeks earlier in Washington that led to his historic second impeachment and will now leave office as the disgraced 45th president of the United States.
Trump has refused to attend Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day and is expected to be at his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida, leaving the White House on Wednesday just hours before the president-elect assumes office.
The outgoing president will however have a scaled-down farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, according to Bloomberg News.
Invitations for the 8am event have reportedly been handed out to supporters of Trump and former administration officials, with five guests allowed to accompany invitees.
Armed Forces Farewells hosted by the Joint Chiefs chairman and defence secretary have been performed routinely since 1989, with Ronald Reagan the first president to receive one.
Trump’s tempestuous relationship with military
Trump’s persistent use of the military in political scenarios, including the deployment of soldiers during Black Lives Matter protests to halt rioting from a minority, has caused “lots of damage” to civilian-military relations, Duke University Political Science Professor Peter Feaver told National Public Radio.
“[Trump] was constantly undermining civilian-military relations around the bounds of what is acceptable behaviour,” he said.
“This, combined with the fact that he has a tin ear for all things in the civil-military domain, means that Trump did lots of damage to this crucial pillar of the republic.”
Michael O’Hanlon, a defence analyst at the Brookings Institution, labelled Trump an “extremely dangerous commander-in-chief”.
Following years of damage control under Trump thanks to his rash decision making, including a series of pardons related to war crimes, his relationship with the military has become increasingly strained.
According to a Military Times poll, support from troops dropped over the course of his presidency by nearly nine points to 37.4 per cent.
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