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Agreement between Trump and Putin – let’s revive the nuclear arms race

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin agree: Let’s revive the nuclear arms race, WP  December 22 Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech Thursday in which he praised his country’s military operations on behalf of the government of Syria and made a case for how Russia could be stronger moving forward.

“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces,” …… You can’t have a new nuclear arms race, of course, without someone to run against. Enter President-elect Donald Trump……..

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The trend since the late 1980s has been in the opposite direction, winding down the stockpiles of weapons held by the United States and Russia…….

As always, it’s fraught to take one Trump tweet as a descriptor of where his presidency might be headed. (He has, for example, also tweeted that he never argued for other countries to get nuclear weapons, which is false.) It’s also not clear that “strengthen and expand” means more actual nuclear warheads. (The United States will spend an estimated $1 trillionover 30 years to modernize its weapons stockpile, in part because aging nuclear warheads require significant maintenance.) But Trump’s tweet stands in stark contrast to what President Obama said in May, at the site of the first atomic detonation in world history. In Hiroshima, Japan, Obama called for “a world without nuclear weapons.”…….

As Gizmodo’s Matt Novak noted on Twitter, a recently declassified 1982 briefing given to President Ronald Reagan estimated that 80 million Americans could be killed in a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/22/donald-trump-and-vladimir-putin-agree-lets-revive-the-nuclear-arms-race/?utm_term=.d133721b9c37

December 23, 2016 - Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war

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