There has been so many faux pas incidents initiated by the republican President Donald Trump, that it would be difficult to pin point what is the most outlandish or troublesome.
But I can tell you what is the scariest. His running commentary about the use of nukes both prior to and post his presidency is an eye popper. How his earlier discussions on this topic did not phase those who voted for him is unfathomable to me. Maybe, this is where he was not taken literally by his supporters.
The republican President Donald Trump had been making statements about the state of U.S. nuclear development all along during the campaign season. Around December 22, 2016, he tweeted about how under his leadership, that he wanted to “greatly strengthen and expand the U.S. nuclear capability”.
According to a 1/19/17 NBC report byTrump discussed nuclear weapons on multiple occasions during the presidential campaign, but the cavalier nature of his comments has worried some experts. His statements about nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation have often been confusing, even contradictory.”
“In his first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump told moderator Lester Holt that nuclear weapons are of paramount importance to the U.S. — but then called for more nations to join the nuclear club. He ruled out a “first strike,” but then revealed not just a willingness to use nukes but also a misunderstanding of the high-stakes balancing act the nuclear superpowers have pursued for decades.”
“I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over,” Trump said, referring to the use of nuclear weapons. “At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can’t take anything off the table.”
“Many noted that Trump didn’t seem to understand that nuclear weapons aren’t fielded so they can be used in combat but because they serve a deterrent role, making U.S. adversaries understand if the U.S. would come under nuclear attack, there would be a response in kind.”
“Then why are we making them? Why do we make them?” he said during a Town Hall on MSNBC during the GOP primaries in March. At the same Town Hall, however, he said, “I’d be the last one to use them.”
“Mr. Trump has said two different things about nukes,” said Kristensen. “In December (he) tweet(ed) that the arsenal needed to be increased, and this month (he said) the opposite. Hopefully his briefings this week will convince him that it is not necessary for the United States to ‘greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability,’ as he claimed in December.”
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
The following excerpts are from a 2/24/17 Reuters report by Steve Holland:
“President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to ensure the U.S. nuclear arsenal is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its weapons capacity.”
“In a Reuters interview, Trump also said China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to,” ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions.”
“In his first comments about the U.S. nuclear arsenal since taking office on Jan. 20, Trump was asked about a December tweet in which he said the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capacity “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
“Trump said in the interview he would like to see a world with no nuclear weapons but expressed concern that the United States has “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”
“I am the first one that would like to see … nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.
“It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack,” Trump said.
Status of Current U.S. Nuclear Capabilities (Source:2/24/17 Reuters report by Steve Holland)
“Russia has 7,000 warheads and the United States, 6,800, according to the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-nuclear group.”
“Russia and the U.S. have far more weapons than is necessary to deter nuclear attack by the other or by another nuclear-armed country,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the independent Arms Control Association non-profit group.”
“The new strategic arms limitation treaty, known as New START, between the United States and Russia requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries must limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to equal levels for 10 years.”
In short, if President Trump were to follow up on increasing US nuclear capability, it would represent a major departure from the US strategic defense policy for the past several decades.