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Donald Trump’s New Nuclear Instability


Donald Trump’s New Nuclear Instability

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

President-elect Donald Trump exploded a half-century of U.S. nuclear-arms policy in a single tweet last week: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” With that one vague message, Donald Trump, who hasn’t even taken office yet, may have started a new arms race.


This is just hyped up Obama polices, the more things change they sure as hell seem the same. Vote Hillary for more of the same. Did you?


Yep, just hyped Obama policies. That's why he signed a new START treaty that caps our deployed nuclear infrastructure thusly:

-Deployed missiles and bombers 700
-Deployed warheads (RVs and bombers) 1,550
-Deployed and non-deployed launchers (missile tubes and bombers) 800

Limiting nukes has actually been a decades long bipartisan effort, with largely neocons and ancient hard right cold warriors wanting to expand nuclear infrastructure. To get the treaty through the Senate, the president had to work with some of these folks which meant agreeing to upgrade systems. The other alternative was to reject the treaty, or to construct a new useless bomber fleet, which wonderful Texas Senator Jon Kyle and his awesome colleague now Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted.

But Obama and McConnell are all part of the same club, right?


President Obama has proposed a frighteningly wrongheaded plan to “modernize” our nuclear arsenal at the unfathomable cost of about $1 trillion over the next 30 years. And what is Obama's secret attack he threatens Russia all about? Why is Kissinger in Russia meeting with Putin?


Considering that Trump did not know what the nuclear triad was I think we have to assume that his understanding about nuclear weapons is close to zero. In that context the tweet from Trump came from a person who is totally ignorant about the subject he is tweeting on. But since it is about nuclear weapons it must be taken seriously. So this is our dilemma. We have to take seriously statements from someone who is ignorant and would not be taken seriously in any other context. I don't we have ever had this type of situation before. We should never be in this situation but thanks to millions of voters, many whom seem to be as ignorant as Trump, here we are.


Who did you vote for, Trump?


Trump is an unstable, ticking time bomb.
For someone in his position who is uninformed, yet one who thinks he is informed is a great danger to all of us. For someone in his position, for example, not to be taking the daily briefings and then to be making decisions is a great red flag warning. This is not a position where one can just wing it.... What a scary moment when the time will come and the President will be asked, ok Mr. President what have you decided to do?.....


1950.... I have heard that this $1Trillion program has been started....(not just a proposal).


D.T. " Let it be an arms race...we will outlast them all."

My translation: Let their be a nuclear arms race so we can be the last to die!


My gawd. Obama had to accept the nuclear modernization, as much as you hate it, as part of getting the new START treaty through the Senate. There are people who didn't want the president to sign that treaty, you know. And as I note above, they include the now Majority Leader in the Senate who wanted the president to build a new (useless) bomber to drop nukes with in exchange for Republican votes. It takes two-thirds of the Senate to pass a treaty so the President had a choice: deal or no deal. He chose to deal.

Why do I feel like so many on CD have no idea how our Constitutional system works aside from what's in Oliver Stone movies and spy novels?


Wikileaks provides a reference for the statement that New START, "...does not limit the number of operationally inactive stockpiled nuclear warheads that remain in the high thousands in both the Russian and American inventories.[7]..."

The time required to change such stockpiled warheads from "operationally inactive" to "active" would not seem to be that much of an impediment.


Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons......WTF----insanity, idiocy, ignorance.


You are correct but it was the Russians who did not want to limit MIRVed missles. The problem: you limit rockets, but not the amount of warheads each rocket can carry. So the US basically advocated limiting deployment infrastructure instead. The Russians would only go so far on this end though since we have a more varied delivery infrastructure than they do. So the treaty struck a balance between the two conflicting interests.

If it makes you feel better, GWB pulled out of the ABM treaty in 2001 and Trump could pull out of this one too. If he intends to go all in on nuclear development, he'll likely need to. If what I read on CD is correct, we should all celebrate open and honest militarism rather than the deceitful quiet militarism of Obama anyway. Speaking for myself, Trump's tough man act is one I'd rather wait on.


It doesn't matter to me who didn't want the limit. The fact is that both sides agreed to no limit.

What would make me feel better is if Trump would pull back all of the NATO ABM deployments encircling Russia and China that were implemented under Obama. Those deployments are a major impediment to stable relations with those two countries.


Both sides agreed to caps. I listed them above. And if you reduce the number of silos, submarines, bombers, and other deployment infrastructure, that is pretty reasonable deployment caps you are putting in place. I'm not a nuclear physicist, but I'm betting neither are you. I'm not convinced it's necessarily an easy walk-over-and-stick-it-in scenario for warheads though.

As to your last comment, the US pulled out of the ABM treaty in 2001 under our previous president. Whether you like it or not, some countries on Europe's eastern edge don't see Russian President Putin in nearly as good a light as progressives here at CD seem to. There was real worry about Russia's planned nuclear missle deployment in 2008 near the border of Poland. Obama scrapped the previous administration's deployment plans in part to reduce growing tensions and Russia halted deployment in response (the famous "reset" Obama was criticized for by Republicans).




Yes, and Trumps statement only builds on the plan in motion.


I totally agree. Trump has absolutely no depth of thinking on any matter.
Want me to sum it up? He brags about not reading.


I certainly don't see him in a good light and I think it is foolish for anyone else too do so as well. But...Trump is foolish and puts his own personal gain ahead of the best interests of the US and the world so...there you go.


Obviously, Trump wants both more nuclear weapons and friendship with Putin. These goals are not as inconsistent as they seem if Trump's goal is joint US-Russian globaloverlordship enforced by the overwhelming nuclear weaponry these two countries possess. He has asked why the US has nuclear weapons if they can't be used, and probably sees them as a means to tame the rising non-white powers. He may well believe that a demonstration nuclear detonation in a place like Raqqa or Mogadishu would make it possible for a US-Russian alliance to dictate terms to the rest of the world.

This kind of madness is implicit in much of what Trump has said. Whether Putin would go along is less clear.