And now he attempts to bully the world WITH NUKES!
"Donald Trump's fighting words are worrying to some" PBS NewsHour 12/23/2016
SUMMARY: President-elect Trump tweeted this week that the U.S. needs to build up its nuclear arsenal. He also declared that should an arms race occur, the U.S. would triumph over any adversary. John Yang talks to Joseph Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund and Matthew Kroenig of Georgetown University about the reaction to Mr. Trump's words and the status of American weaponry.
JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour): We return now to President-elect Trump's comments about the need to build up the United States' nuclear arsenal — and to John Yang for that.
JOHN YANG (NewsHour): Are the president-elect's tweets and comments signaling a change in U.S. nuclear weapons policy? And should the nation beef up its nuclear arsenal?
For that, we turn to Matthew Kroenig, an associate professor at Georgetown University who's written extensively about nuclear weapons; and Joseph Cirincione, the president of the Ploughshares Fund, a non-profit organization that advocates for disarmament. He, too, has written widely on the subject.
Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us tonight.
Mr. Cirincione, let me start with you, when you hear or read the president-elect saying that the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability and then tell Mika Brzezinski this morning, “Let it be an arms race,” what's your reaction?
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, Ploughshares Fund: Stunned. An ill-considered, disrespectful and dangerous series of statements. This would upend decades of Republican and Democratic policy that ever since Ronald Reagan has been reducing nuclear arsenals, both in the United States and Russia and around the world, stopping other countries from getting nuclear weapons.
By using that word “expand”, he says he wants to grow the arsenal or grow the capabilities. Look, nobody is against keeping a strong nuclear deterrent. If that's all he said, we wouldn't be having this debate.
President Obama has put in train a trillion-dollar program to replace every single nuclear weapon we have over the next 25 years. Donald Trump seems to be saying he wants to go ahead with this. His advisors tried to walk it back, but he himself said this morning, let it be an arms race. That is an extremely dangerous posture, that's why people all over the globe are worried and talking about this today.
JOHN YANG: Matthew Kroenig, what's your take?
MATTHEW KROENIG, Georgetown University: Well, the statement is certainly controversial but I think Trump is basically right. U.S. nuclear policy in the U.S. can't be static, it has to respond to international politics and all America's nuclear armed rivals, Russia, China, North Korea, are expanding and modernizing their arsenals. So, it doesn't make sense for the United States to continue reducing its arsenal as our adversaries are going in the other directions. And moreover, many of these countries, especially Russia, are relying more not less on nuclear weapons in their strategy.
So, again, the United States needs to take that into account as it formulates its own nuclear posture. And so, I think some strengthening of U.S. nuclear strategy and U.S. nuclear posture has been long overdue.
JOHN YANG: Matthew Kroenig, when you say the United States shouldn't be reducing its arsenal, but isn't that what's called for under an existing treaty with Russia?
MATTHEW KROENIG: Well, the existing treaty with Russia, the new START treaty was signed in 2011. According to the treaty, both countries can have 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons. Right now, the United States is actually well under 200 or so warheads under. The Russians are 250 warheads above.
So, there is a gap of about 400 warheads that's worrying in and of itself, and it raises questions about Russia — whether Russia actually intends to follow through on this agreement or not. So, this is one of the measures that a new President can take to strengthen America's nuclear arsenal to increase the size of the arsenal, at least to the limits allowed for under new START.