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Donald Trump’s terrifyingly dangerous policies on nuclear weapons proliferation

USA election 2016Trump’s nuclear views are terrifying , USA Today, Mira Rapp-Hooper March 29, 2016 

He’d ditch ‘predictable’ U.S. policies that have kept nuclear arms races in check for decades. The contours of Donald Trump’s foreign policy are becoming disturbingly clear. Newspapers have labeled his thinking on international affairs “isolationist” and “unabashedly non-interventionist,” yet those terms fail to capture the more alarming elements of his philosophy. Trump apparently is prepared to abandon the United States’ most important alliances, even at the risk of those countries acquiring nuclear weapons. In other words, he is prepared to end the decades-long U.S. policy of extended deterrence — protecting close partners against nuclear attack and thereby limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. Moreover, the presidential candidate gives little indication that he understands the implications of these radical policies for global security and stability.

One theme running through Trump’s foreign policy is his disdain for U.S. alliances and allies. In recent news media interviews, he has called U.S. treaties “one-sided,” labeled NATO “obsolete” and repeatedly called on South Korea and Japan to contribute more to U.S. basing costs overseas. Trump appeared surprised in a New York Times interview to learn that allies do pay a substantial portion of U.S. overseas basing costs, with none more supportive than Japan. Yet he also seemed unmoved by this information, insisting that allies should pay no less than a full 100% of U.S. overseas costs. A refusal to do so would force a President Trump to begin withdrawing troops, he told The Times. When told this might cause South Korea and Japan to acquire their own nuclear weapons, Trump demonstrated a flippant comfort, stating that the U.S. “may very well be better off.”

It hardly bears noting that abandoning U.S. treaty commitments and acquiescing to nuclear proliferation are completely at odds with decades of U.S. foreign policy……..

To understand why Trump’s views on extended deterrence are terrifying, one must examine his other positions on nuclear policy and strategy. In a December GOP debate, the candidate appeared to be unfamiliar with the nuclear triad, made up of the intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and bombers that can deliver nuclear weapons to their targets. Just days ago, he refused to rule out the use of a nuclear weapons against the Islamic State terrorist group. ……….

Perhaps most unsettling, Trump repeatedly insists that the United States must be more “unpredictable” in its national security policy — a chilling assertion, particularly when uttered in such close proximity to such irresponsible nuclear policies. Trump’s naiveté about the world’s most dangerous weapons leads one to infer that he might not have considered the fact that a nuclear Japan and South Korea could lead to dangerous arms racing with China and North Korea, proliferation by other states in East Asia and regional instability that invites major crises……..

 this prospective commander in chief’s views are not just irresponsible: They are cataclysmically dangerous.

Mira Rapp-Hooper is a senior fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at theCenter for a New American Security. Her Ph.D. dissertation, “Absolute Alliances,” was on the role of extended deterrence in international politics.

March 30, 2016 - Posted by | USA elections 2016

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