— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 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.