“My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before. Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!”
That’s … good? Except nuclear weapons were actually item number fourteen on his to-do list. Plus, since taking the big chair the major thing Trump has managed when it comes to nuclear weapons is putting Rick Perry in charge. Though it’s possible that neither one of them knew it.
Reports suggest the former Texas governor will have a steep learning curve; when he accepted the job, he did not realize one of his major tasks as Energy Secretary would be overseeing the US’s vast nuclear arsenal.
Not only was Trump’s first move on nukes putting them under the wing of a guy still struggling to see through his smart glasses, his second move was … there was no second move. Not unless you count doing what President Obama was already doing.
There is no evidence that Trump has made any material changes to the nation’s nuclear preparedness.
What Trump has done is order a review of the nation’s “nuclear posture.” That review is still underway. Not one bomb, missile, sub, or “miniature“ tactical weapon has been altered, upgraded, or moved except for those already scheduled for maintenance when Trump came into office.
Trump is still hammering Republican talking points about the age and decrepitude of the American arsenal; things which haven’t been true in years. But then, Trump seems unaware of most genuine issues around all things nuclear.
When President Obama last conducted a Nuclear Posture Review in 2010, he outlined steps to modernize the “nuclear triad” of submarines, bombers, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. (Trump infamously had no idea what the triad was during a 2015 GOP primary debate.) That process is not meant to be completed until the 2020s.
So in truth, Donald Trump did nothing about nuclear weapons but tell James Mattis to take a look at them. The only changes to the arsenal are those ordered by President Obama.
The idea that Donald Trump has done anything to make that arsenal “far stronger and more powerful” is simply a lie. Of course, Trump might have picked up that information from the non-fake news.
Donald Trump receives a twice-daily briefing filled with positive headlines and flattering photographs of himself, it has been claimed.
The President is handed a folder of favorable news clippings and TV screenshots compiled by the Republicans’ “war room” and the White House communications team.
Hopefully if that folder has any fake headlines encouraging Trump’s threats against North Korea, they’ve already written the headlines for a fake war, fake victory, and fake parade.
Meanwhile, a reminder that more nations, more nukes is exactly what Trump wanted.
Donald Trump said he would be open to Japan and South Korea building nuclear weapons to deter North Korea, and would consider withdrawing troops from both American allies unless they paid more for their own defense.
Remember: Go nuke or we go home.