Dec 22, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump unexpectedly tweeted in support of boosting the United States' nuclear capacity on Thursday, marking a potential reversal in U.S. policy.
\u201cThe United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes\u201d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1482425430
Thursday's tweet came "hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to enhance his country's nuclear forces," CNN reports. It drew criticism from experts like Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who toldBusiness Insider that nuclear proliferation would be a "total catastrophe" for the U.S. and its allies abroad.
Citing Lewis, Business Insider explained:
Increasing nuclear arsenals could have a domino effect as other countries, including some US allies in the Middle East, demand their own arsenals.
"A large number of our other allies would want the same treatment immediately," Lewis said. "Probably lots of Middle Eastern states. I think you would get a lot of countries wanting nuclear weapons."
Others responded on Trump's preferred medium expressing similar fears.
\u201c.@realDonaldTrump, w/ one tweet you've called for a new nuclear arms race of weapons designed to wipe entire cities off the map.\u201d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1482425430
\u201cIs this tweet from Trump meaningless bluster, the prelude to World War III, or both? https://t.co/vrHzhbh5ul\u201d— New York Magazine (@New York Magazine) 1482441313
-- Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) December 22, 2016
\u201cMore #nuclear begets nukes from other countries and rogue states. The world does not need a new Arms Race or a new Cold War. #Trump\u201d— Diane Russell \ud83c\udf39 (@Diane Russell \ud83c\udf39) 1482430458
\u201cIsn't it comforting that, in a month, Donald J. Trump will be able to launch a nuclear weapon with a phone call?\u201d— Ali Gharib (@Ali Gharib) 1482439849
\u201cWhile Trump and Putin are nuclear-saber rattling, 6 brave foreign ministers are leading the counter-movement to ban nuclear weapons.\u201d— ICAN (@ICAN) 1482431582
\u201cTrump's statement re expansion of US nuclear capabilities is ridiculous and dangerous.\nUS nuclear capabilities are already enormous.\u201d— Yannis Koutsomitis (@Yannis Koutsomitis) 1482425077
Trump's previous statements on nuclear arms have been inconsistent at best.
As such, during the presidential election, the No Red Button campaign warned of the dangers of Trump having access to nukes.
"Donald Trump is weeks away from having the unchecked ability to light the world on fire," Meredith Horowski, the director of the campaign, told Common Dreams in October. "His flippant statements condoning nuclear violence and his penchant for revenge suggest that as president, he would do just that. He could launch thousands of nuclear weapons at any time--each one vastly more powerful than the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima--and no one could stop him."
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.