Friday, February 24, 2017

Update: Trump Views on Nuclear Weapons and All That Encompasses

Trump’s View of Trump-World
(Based on his statements and fondness for Nukes)

Original START Agreement Reached in December 1987 
(Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev)

START Treaty Signed in July 1992
(Geo. H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev)

New START Signed in April 2010
(Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev)

Update on the following which was posted February 9, 2017 and yes, it is long - but a continuing story:

President Donald J. Trump said on Thursday with Reuters (Feb 23, 2017) that he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.

FLASHBACK: 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. Seeking to prevent the nuclear weapon ranks from expanding further, the United States and other like-minded states negotiated the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.

Historical Info:

1.  At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread.

2.  The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

3.  Just four years later in 1948, the former Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion.

4.  Then the UK in 1952, France in 1960, and China in 1964 all followed suit.

Seeking to prevent the nuclear weapon ranks from expanding further, the United States and other like-minded states negotiated the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968, and then the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.

1.  India, Israel, and Pakistan never signed the NPT and all of them possess nuclear arsenals.

2.  Iraq initiated a secret nuclear program under Saddam Hussein before the 1991 Persian Gulf War but it basically went nowhere.

3.  North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003 and has tested nuclear devices ever since.

4.  Iran and Libya have pursued secret nuclear activities in violation of the treaty’s terms, and Syria is suspected of having done the same.

Still, nuclear nonproliferation successes outnumber failures and dire forecasts decades ago that the world would be home to dozens of states armed with nuclear weapons have not come to pass.

At the time the NPT was concluded, the nuclear stockpiles of both the United States and the Soviet Union numbered in the tens of thousands. Then beginning in the 1970’s, U.S. and Soviet/Russian leaders negotiated a series of bilateral arms control agreements and initiatives that limited, and later helped to reduce, the size of their nuclear arsenals.

Today, the United States and now-Russia, each deploy more than 1,500 strategic warheads on several hundred bombers and missiles, and both are modernizing their nuclear delivery systems.

China, India, and Pakistan are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear delivery systems. In addition, Pakistan has lowered the threshold for nuclear weapons use by developing tactical nuclear weapons capabilities to counter perceived Indian conventional military threats. North Korea continues its nuclear pursuits in violation of its earlier de-nuclearization pledges.

Even in view of all that, our last five presidents: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan have all negotiated agreements with Russia to reduce their nuclear stockpiles. Now we have a new START, which Trump does not even think if fair to us. (My earlier post subject).  

Then measure Trump's past statements like these made in his campaign at various places and times on this subject:

Speaking to a crowd in Fort Dodge, Iowa on November 15, 2015 – they roared and applauded as he addressed his plan for defeating ISIS when he said: “I would bomb the shit out of them. I’d just bomb those suckers. I’d blow up the oil pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up every single inch — there would be nothing left.”

Later on the same subject he said:

“I wanna be unpredictable.” 
“I love war.” 
“I know more about ISIS than the Generals do.”
“I love war, in a certain way”
“Nuclear is the power of devastation ... very important to me.”

Trump is not smart on the nuclear weapons question – he has to avoid reckless statements that tend to upend decades of successful efforts to reduce bloated nuclear arsenals and renewal of dangerous U.S. and Russian nuclear competition – another arms race.

Related and Somewhat Tied to this Subject:


Keep in mind that Donald J. Trump has the nuclear codes (carried around in a case known as the Football). Then read this story. Draw your own conclusion.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – February 9, 2017
In his first call as president, and with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty (New START) that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States (according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of that call).
When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START.
Trump paused in the middle of the call, turned to his staff nearby and asked: “What is the START treaty?”
Trump then returned to Putin and told him that the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that “New START favored Russia.”
Then and right on cue, Trump started to talk about his own popularity (sources revealed).
Sean Spicer when asked for details said: “The president's conversation with President Putin is a private call between the two of them, and I'm going to leave it at that.”
Note: It has not been previously reported that Trump had conveyed any of his doubts about New START to Putin in the hour-long call.
Background: “New START” gives both countries until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades. It also limits deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers. During a debate in the 2016 presidential election, Trump said Russia had “outsmarted the United States with the treaty, which he referred to as START-Up.”
Trump as usual then asserted (and just as usual, incorrectly), that it had allowed Russia to continue to produce nuclear warheads while the United States could not.
Note: Two Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (MA), both criticized Trump for deriding what they called a key nuclear arms control accord. 
Sen. Shaheen said: “It’s impossible to overstate the negligence of the president of the United States not knowing basic facts about nuclear policy and arms control. New START has unquestionably made our country safer, an opinion widely shared by national security experts on both sides of the aisle.”
Related Background:
3.  START III is here (NOTE: Never signed into law and not implemented).
So, who out there in Trump la-la land still thinks he is qualified and fit for the office … he was not prepared for that call with Putin. Details in the reference article listed above.
The #1 unresolved issue to date is the relationship (or not) between Trump and Putin). The public has a compelling right to know.
Stay tuned.

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