U.S. to Expand Nuclear Capabilities, Says Trump

The tweet came after Putin said Russia needs to bolster its military nuclear potential

In the latest tweet, President-elect Trump stated that the U.S. must “greatly strengthen and expand” its nuclear capabilities, adding that such actions should continue until the time when the world “comes to its senses regarding nukes.” No other detail was given by Trump, the Tweet reads:-

“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

His spokesman later clarified that Trump was referring to prevent the proliferation of nuclear capacities. Jason Miller, who is the communications manager for Trump’s transition team explained that Trump referred to the threat of nuclear proliferation and an urgent need to prevent it, especially to and among terrorist organizations and skeptical regimes. He also added that Trump emphasized on the need to modernize and enhance the deterrent capability to promote peace through strength.

The tweet from Trump came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting with his military advisers to review the activities of the Russian military in 2016. Mr. Putin said that Russia needs to boost its military nuclear potential.

According to nonpartisan Arms Control Association, Russia has 7,300 nuclear weapons compared to 7,100 U.S. possess.

Russian President said that Russia needs to strengthen the military complexes which would be able to penetrate existing and future missile defense systems. He also added that Russia should carefully monitor the balance of power and political-military situation, especially along the Russian border. He was probably referring to the U.S. missile defenses in Eastern Europe which according to Pentagon is to counter Iran.

Mr. Trump described nuclear proliferation as the “single biggest issue” facing the world during the election campaign, but also added that he could not rule out using it against Europe.

He repeatedly claimed that his rival, Hillary Clinton was erratic and lacked diplomatic skills to avoid a nuclear war. Hillary mocked him and responded by saying that “a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes.” Now Trump will have his hands on the nuclear codes in less than a month.

Although Trump has not clarified his tweet, he has hinted in interviews earlier that he favored the expansion. If that happens, this will be a shift away from President Obama’s current policy who has talked at length about U.S. commitment to peace without nuclear weapons.

Before his victory, while responding to the question on the use WMD against an enemy, Trump said that this would be the absolute last resort, but he would want to be unpredictable.

Trump has also said that other countries should spend more on their defense budgets and do without the U.S. because “we can’t afford to do it anymore.”

He also said that he was for countries like Japan and South Korea acquiring nuclear weapons “because it’s going to happen anyway.” He said that it was just a matter of time, either they go ahead and build it, or the U.S. will get rid of them entirely.

Trump is spending the holiday season at his resort in Florida (Mar-a-Lago), where he has been meeting with campaign advisers.