Trump wants to make nuclear weapons easier to use — and that should frighten everyone

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HuffPost has published a leaked, January 2018 draft of the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, due out in February.
While the document echoes the Obama administration’s nuclear modernization plan, it contains major differences and is laced with “dark perspective.”
One reversal is a push for additional “flexible” and “low-yield” nuclear weapons in the US arsenal.

This shift could make nuclear weapons easier to use in combat, spur nuclear proliferation, lead to grave miscalculations, and increase the risk of atomic warfare.

A little more than a year ago, Donald Trump made two of the most alarming statements of his political career. Now they appear poised to become US policy, in light of a government document leaked to HuffPost.

The first statement occurred on December 22, 2016, when Trump tweeted that the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

Trump’s aides claimed he wasn’t starting a nuclear arms race. But he betrayed their spin the following day.

“Let it be an arms race,” Trump reportedly told MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski over the phone. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

Both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations have worked for decades to reduce US and global nuclear weapons stockpiles, so Trump’s views represented a reversal of longstanding efforts at denuclearization. Because he was president-elect at the time, doubts existed as to whether he — once sworn in and surrounded by presumably experienced and competent cabinet members — would act on them.

But what little room for doubt is left has shrunk considerably.

On Thursday, HuffPost senior reporter Ashley Feinberg published what appears to be a January 2018 draft of the Nuclear Posture Review.

An NPR, as it’s also called, is a roadmap for US nuclear strategy published every four years. It is assembled by the Secretary of Defense, who is currently Jim Mattis, and other administration officials based on the president’s input.

The 64-page document is not a call for stockpiling massive numbers of atomic bombs. However, it outlines the Trump administration’s aims to not only expand nuclear weapons capabilities, but also make the devices eminently easier for military forces to use.

When asked about the document’s authenticity, Feinberg told Business Insider via tweet that it “comports with what industry people/lobbyists/the people quoted in my post have heard and seen.”

A final version of the NPR is slated for publication in February, according to HuffPost, and — given a year of work put into the report — is unlikely to change much.

And that should frighten us all.

Why Trump thinks the US needs more nukes

Trump is worried about the nuclear weapons modernization efforts of Russia — which in 2014 violated a key arms reduction treaty — as well as North Korea’s maturing intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear test programs.

His tough-guy attitude echoes Cold War-era logic: outmatch your …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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