Donald Trump’s Thermonuclear Dream – Decades In The Making (TWEETS/VIDEOS)

“Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy… the FEAR to attack.”

— Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

On December 22, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump Tweeted a call for the U.S. to expand its nuclear capability.

Senator Bernie Sanders expressed alarm regarding Trump’s comment.

Parker Malloy, a writer for Upworthy.com, was disturbed by this statement and said so in no uncertain terms.

The following day, during an off-air conversation with Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Trump doubled down on his earlier remark and callously said:

“Let it be an arms race, we will outlast them at every pass.”

David Ignatius of The Washington Post, understandably horrified, remarked:

“You can create space, but the space is then there to be able to negotiate, not to throw more wood on the fire. If you say, ‘What I really do want is an arms race,’ you’re going to lose the country. The country doesn’t want another arms race.”

Shortly afterward, Sean Spicer, Trump’s pick for White House Press Secretary, made an attempt to spin Trump’s Tweet in such a way that it appeared less ominous.

“Well, the Tweet continued: ‘…unless [other countries] come to [their senses]…’ And I think the point that he’s making is that we’re not going to sit back as a country and allow other countries to expand their nuclear capabilities with the U.S just sitting idly by. This President is going to take action, he’s going to make sure that the American interests are protected… we’re not going to sit back and watch other nations threaten our safety… if another country wants to expand their nuclear capability, the U.S. is not going to sit back and idly by… Just to be clear, the President isn’t saying we’re going to do this. He said, ‘unless they come to [their] senses.’ It’s a warning to them that this President is going to take action.”

Spicer added:

“Other countries need to be put on notice that he is not going to sit back and allow them to undermine our safety, our sovereignty. He is going to match other countries and take action.”

Unfortunately, Sean Spicer’s attempt at damage control offers zero reassurance, particularly in that he echoes a lot of the same language used in Trump’s Tweet. To be more accurate, it appears that Spicer is contradicting his own intuition to shut everybody up.

Of course, Trump’s vision of an alliance with Russia to take a stand against other countries’ possessing nuclear arms is nothing new. In an interview published in Manhattan, inc.  in 1987, Trump asserted:

“Most of those [pre-nuclear] countries are in one form or another dominated by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Between those two nations you have the power to dominate any of those countries. So we should use our power of economic retaliation and they use their powers of retaliation and between the two of us we will prevent the problem from happening…[France has] got the bomb, but they don’t have it now with the delivery capability they will have in five years. If they didn’t give it up — and I don’t mean reduce it, and I don’t mean stop, because stopping doesn’t mean anything. I mean get it out. If they didn’t, I would bring sanctions against that country that would be so strong, so unbelievable.”

Trump also suggested using military force to coerce other nations into nuclear disarmament.

“I guess the easy thing would be to say you go in and clean it out.”

According to a database found on the website for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Russia and the United States far exceed other countries in terms of their nuclear arsenals, with  7,300 warheads and 6,970 warheads respectively. The other countries, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea only have an average number of approximately 156 warheads each. Moreover, in 2008, Nicholas Sarkozy, the President of France at that time announced a plan for France to reduce the number of aircraft deliverable nuclear warheads by a third, and as a rule, China stores its warheads separately from their launching systems except in the event of increased threats to national security. Hence, despite Spicer’s worry that other nations may expand their nuclear arsenal, it’s difficult to ascertain which countries other than the U.S. or Russia are doing exactly that. Thus, both his and Trump’s fears that countries with less than 1,000 warheads might expand their stockpiles seem completely unfounded, and if the Trump administration were to follow through with their vow to “match other countries” in terms of their nuke arsenals, perhaps that ought to mean drastically reducing the number of nuclear warheads in the U.S.

Then again, the bullies of the world always are afraid that somebody is out to get them.

 

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