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Trump preoccupied with the idea of nuclear annihilation, but knows little about nuclear weapons

Trump Thinks About Nuclear Annihilation a Lot, But Doesn’t Know Much About It, New York, By Margaret Hartmann, 20 Aug 17  “…… Trump has been publicly discussing his vivid fears about nuclear weapons for decades, predating any serious talk of him running for president. These comments suggest that Trump thinks about nuclear annihilation far more than the average American – but he simultaneously has a particularly weak understanding of how the strategy surrounding them works. That’s created the frightening mix that was on display last week: it appears that Trump is well aware of the awesome threat posed by nuclear weapons, but he thinks it can be addressed like a problem in the board room (of a reality TV show)……..

A month before Trump was inaugurated, Mother Jones looked at Trump’s many public remarks about nuclear war and noted that he’s often spoken as if he thinks nuclear war is inevitable…….

as the New York Daily News reports, over the years he has actually laid out what he believes is the path to our salvation. Unsurprisingly, it involves Trump singlehandedly saving humanity with his superior negotiation skills……

His greatest dream is to personally do something about the problem and, characteristically, Donald Trump thinks he has an answer to nuclear armament: Let him negotiate arms agreements – he who can talk people into selling $100 million properties to him for $13 million. Negotiations is an art, he says and I have a gift for it.

The idea that he would ever be allowed to got into a room alone and negotiate for the United States, let alone be successful in disarming the world, seems the naive musing of an optimistic, deluded young man who has never lost at anything he has tried. But he believes that through years of making his views known and through supporting candidaes who share his views, it could someday happen.

Later that year a Washington Post piece noted that Trump hoped to “perhaps one day fulfill his fantasy of becoming the U.S. negotiator on nuclear arms limitation talks with the Soviets.”

“It’s something that somebody should do that knows how to negotiate and not the kind of representatives that I have seen in the past.”

He could learn about missiles, quickly, he says.

“It would take an hour-and-a-half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles … I think I know most of it anyway. You’re talking about just getting updated on a situation …

The problem, in addition to Trump’s overestimation of his negotiating skills, is that it doesn’t seem he’s devoted much effort to learning anything about missiles, or nuclear strategy in general. During the campaign he repeatedly demonstrated a lack of familiarity with some very basic concepts surrounding nuclear weapons.

During a Republican primary debate, Trump could not answer a question about his “priority among our nuclear triad” (the nation’s land-, sea-, and air-based systems for delivering nuclear weapons). It was clear from the context of the question that it was about maintaining our aging weapons systems, but Trump answered, “Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we can trust, who is totally responsible, who really knows what he or she is doing. That is so powerful and so important.”

…….. Several times during the campaign, Trump suggested that Japan and South Korea should get their own nuclear weapons if they aren’t willing to pay the full cost of having U.S. military personnel stationed in their country. In a May 2016 interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Trump described the situation like a business negotiation.

“They have to pay. And you know what? I’m prepared to walk, and if they have to defend themselves against North Korea – we have a maniac over there,” Trump said. “In my opinion, if they don’t take care of us properly, if they don’t respect us enough to take care of us properly, then you know what’s going to happen Wolf? Very simple: they’re going to have to defend themselves.”

There’s little evidence that being president has expanded Trump’s understanding of nuclear issues. In the midst of last week’s war of words with Kim Jong-un, Trump offered Americans the false assurance that he’s fixed up the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the past six months – though with well over 4,000 nuclear warheads, insufficient fire power against North Korea is certainly not a concern.

And despite access to the world’s top nuclear experts, the New York Timesreported that Trump’s improvised threat to Kim Jong-un last week was the result of his believe that he alone understands how to deal with the dictator…….. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/trump-thinks-about-nukes-a-lot-doesnt-know-much-about-them.html

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August 21, 2017 - Posted by | general

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