When you think about the United States’ nuclear program, it’s interesting to consider that few if any nations in human history have intentionally weakened themselves in the name of peace and to appease weaker nations across the globe.
But the US has been shrinking its arsenal for decades in order to foster peace and cooperation with the Russians and to live up to the nuclear disarmament dream. While Obama was very keen to reduce our stockpiles, Trump has made it known he wants to ensure America’s superiority, if not in number, then in capability and modernization. That’s been his mantra since the campaign, but he’s now making it known he’s willing to reduce numbers further, but it’s up to other powers to take the lead.
As reported at the Daily Mail, Trump announced on Monday that he’s open to shrinking America’s nuclear arsenal, but only if other nuclear powers commit to doing the same.
President Donald Trump said Monday that if other nations commit to shrinking their nuclear arsenals, he would be willing to consider matching their moves.
However, no matter if reductions occur or not, he reiterated that America will continue to have the world’s most advanced nuclear arsenal–one that’s “absolutely modernized and brand new.”
“We will always be number one in that category, certainly as long as I’m president,” he said. “We’re going to be far, far in excess of anybody else.”
Trump made the comments while discussing the latest White House budget, which calls for significant increases in military spending.
“We’re going to have the strongest military we ever had by far. We’re increasing arsenals of virtually every weapon,” the president declared. “We’re modernizing and creating brand new, a brand new nuclear force and frankly we have to do because others are doing it.”
“If they stop, we’ll stop,” he added, “But they’re not stopping. So if they’re not going to stop, we’re going to be so far ahead of everybody else, and nuclear like you’ve never seen before.”
“And I hope they stop. And if they do, we’ll stop in two minutes. And frankly, I’d like to get rid of a lot of them. And if they want to do that, we’ll go along with them. We won’t lead the way; we’ll go along with them.”
Trump’s stance on the issue has been very consistent, as he’s always been open to reductions, but only if allies and adversaries make similar moves themselves.
“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” he told Reuters last February.
“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.“
America’s nuclear arsenal pales in comparison to its size during the Cold War. The US had around 32,000 nuclear warheads in the late 1960s, compared to what the Federation of American Scientists estimates as 4,000 today.
The president’s stance is pure common sense. It’s absurd for the US to continue depleting its own capabilities if others aren’t doing the same. And regardless, as he said, the US should and will still maintain a technological advantage no matter disarmament actions are taken in the future.
Source: Daily Mail