Ever since the dawn of the atomic age man has faced the problem of proliferation of nuclear weapons and their potential for destroying the world and laying waste to vast swathes of the planet.
After their initial use by the U.S. during the end of the second world war to force an unconditional surrender by Japan, nuclear weapons have not been used by either the East or West.
Some have argued that as a matter of fact nuclear weapons have managed to keep the peace till now by acting as a deterrent, as all sides in a nuclear conflict face the prospect of mutual assured destruction (MAD).
MAD is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender.
That doctrine is now being replaced with another that sees strength in nukes, and their potential first-strike capability to cripple the enemy, or their tactical use in a battlefield against a non-nuclear adversary.
President Obama entered office with the promise of ridding the world of these obscene weapons for the sake of his children and grandchildren.
He leaves office in January handing over to President-elect Donald Trump while the world experiences a collapse in order and a rise in hatred, intolerance and warfare.
Trump tweeted Thursday that the U.S. would be happy to spend money on more doomsday weapons, “until such times as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 December 2016
Trump campaigned to put domestic policy at the forefront of his administration’s goals and championed a non-interventionist foreign policy. In a complete reversal, Trump advocates the US enter a nuclear arms race, despite having an arsenal that could destroy human civilization many times over.
It is not as though America’s Cold War stockpile has been collecting dust on the shelf. Recent nuclear modernization efforts have included refurbishing and extending the life of old warheads, building new strategic delivery systems, and funding new production facilities.
And despite President Obama’s quest for a nuclear-free world, the US has recapitalized its nuclear enterprise with billions of dollars. The US has 441 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic missiles alone, according to a report from the Arms Control Association, and the next US President is now suggesting that America needs better, and more, nuclear weapons. Nuclear-armed ICBMs are just one way to mercilessly incinerate entire ecosystems of human, animal, and plant life. The nuclear modernization program in the US also includes fortifying submarines and stealth bombers with atomic weapons, according to the report.
Between 2015-2024, the US is projected to send $348 billion of taxpayer money on its nuclear forces, the Congressional Budget Office reports.
Under President Obama’s watch, the US developed new “smaller” precision guided nukes with a detonation radius that can be scaled up or down as required by the mission. Critics within the US military worry that focused, targeted strikes with a controlled blast-radius will make nukes more tempting to use.
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