'Let it be an arms race': Trump doubles down on nuclear proliferation

Violet Powell
December 28, 2016

Speaking during a marathon end-of-year news conference that lasted the best part of four hours, Putin heaped praise on the president-elect while downplaying any concerns stemming from Trump's support for a strengthened USA nuclear capability. So the concern is not just Russian Federation, but China, very much And how Russian Federation and China play off each other, you know, that's the unknown.

Or ... none of the above?

Sen. Bernie Sanders has made it known that Donald Trump should not go unchallenged by his congressional colleagues as troubling comments by the President-elect about nuclear weapons this week sparked alarm across the United States and the world.

But as Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, told Business Insider, there's a huge contradiction in Trump's recent thinking on defense projects. Naturally, journalists were very curious about what he might say about the next USA president, Donald Trump. Trump will probably accept that, and maybe then, we can have some hope for peace.

Trump appears to be considering using the US nuclear capability to overwhelm North Korea and other countries developing nuclear arms. What's going on here?

Acton called Trump's tweet unprecedented, not only for its content, but for the notion that a president-elect would make a pronouncement about something so sensitive as nuclear weapons policy over a medium as casual as Twitter. "He is breaking with decades of policy, being unnecessarily provocative and causing other leaders to question his competence and the value of his word". Telegraphing your real intentions to adversaries such as Putin is an invitation to have sand kicked in your face. And incoming new White House press secretary Sean Spicer added to Trump's comments by saying on CNN, "If another country or countries want to threaten our safety, our sovereignty, [Trump's] going to do what it takes". He didn't make that change.

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Colorado's Republican U.S. senator, Cory Gardner, who chairs a Senate committee whose responsibilities include global cybersecurity policy, renewed his call for a permanent Select Committee on Cybersecurity, in joining McConnell and Ryan.

The Pentagon, in its 2017, budget has several initiatives aimed at modernizing its nuclear arsenal. That's long-term work that is vital to this country's security. Today you can see the Pershing II and the SS-20 right next to each other - in the Smithsonian Institute, where most would agree such lethal weapons belong. Aging nukes don't inspire confidence. He's still a few weeks away from being inaugurated and he's already threatened China and declared that we'd start cranking out nuclear weapons.

The NWC was discussed at a U.N. conference on disarmament issues held in Nagasaki in mid-December and attended by representatives from about 20 countries including the United States and Russian Federation.

It comes as Trump vows to outmatch and outlast world rivals in an arms race.

Trump also provoked unease during the campaign when he suggested that non-nuclear powers such as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia could be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, contradicting decades of bipartisan US policy consensus. Alternatively, Lewis argues, it's possible to envision a rash Trump Tweet locking the USA into an untenable position by "closing off the president's ability to back down or compromise", rather than preserving maneuvering room, making peaceful resolution harder. Proliferation or an arms race lead in one direction: the increased danger that someone, somewhere, sets off a nuke.

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