00:38 GMT +326 March 2017
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    U.S. President Donald Trump reacts to a question from reporters during a lengthy news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017.

    Trump Calls START a ‘Bad Deal,’ Vows to Boost US Nuclear Arsenal

    © REUTERS/ Carlos Barria
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    On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that the US needs to build up its nuclear arsenal after having “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”

    “I am the first one that would like to see everybody--nobody have nukes, but we’re going to fall behind any country even if it’s friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power,” Trump said during a Reuters interview. 

    A world without nukes would be “wonderful, a dream,” the President said. “But if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”

    The US underwent a massive nuclear weapons modernization program under President Barack Obama, specifically designing smaller, “precision” nukes. The “focused, targeted strikes” featuring a controlled blast-radius could make nukes more tempting to use, which has sparked concern among military analysts, as Sputnik reported. 

    The Congressional Budget Office reported in February that the US is on pace to spend a cool $400 billion over the period between 2017 and 2026. This total is “$52 billion more than CBO’s 2015 estimate for the 2015-2024 period, largely because modernization programs will be ramping up,” the agency said. 

    During the interview, Trump said that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed by the two foremost nuclear powers Russia and the US, said it was a "one-sided deal." "Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it’s START, whether it’s the Iran deal…we’re going to start making good deals," the President exclaimed. 

    It is not clear whether Trump’s comments indicate that the new presidential administration intends to renegotiate the START treaty. START became a foundation for mutual reduction of arsenals by the two nuclear superpowers, Russia and the US. When asked if he intends to raise this question with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump replied, “if and when we meet.” However, he underscored that no meeting has been scheduled yet.

    Analysts point out that the US has undertaken a three-decade, $1-trillion nuclear-modernization program that the already-strained US budget cannot afford.

    Trump also berated North Korea. “We’re very angry,” at Pyongyang’s leadership, he said, adding that the North Korean threat could be handled by China “very easily.” “China can end it very quickly in my opinion,” the President said. Trump reiterated his support for a ‘state-of-the-art’ missile defense system to protect US allies Japan and South Korea, a priority that has been at the top of the Trump administration’s list since Inauguration Day. 

    “There’s talks of a lot more than that,” Trump hinted, regarding the missile defense program. "But it’s a very dangerous situation."

    Related:

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    Moscow, Tehran Agree Iran Nuclear Deal Must Be Honored Amid New US Sanctions
    Beijing ‘Opposes’ US Nuclear-Powered Carrier in South China Sea
    Gorbachev Calls on US, Russia to Lead Efforts Preventing Nuclear War
    Trump Improvised While Proposing Initiative to Reach US-Russia Nuclear Deal
    Tags:
    nuclear arms, START treaty, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Japan, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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    • md74
      Trump is forgetting that countries want nukes primarly to protect themselves against evil empiralistic regimes as the US & its puppet vassals. It seems that the US can't be ruled by normal & sane people.
    • cromwell
      I begin to think that this man is a fool and a mediocre idiot.
      ...yet he made me dream a little.
    • avatar
      nonyank
      Ever notice that Trump never can find anything positive about anything, combine that with his IQ of a peanut and you can see why he is so dangerous....the man is a complete Wack A Doodle....third cousin to the Chucklehead and twin to the Ding Bat!
    • md74in reply tocromwell(Show commentHide comment)
      cromwell, many people had high expectations but it was wishfull thinking. He probably is another stooge, bowing down to the establishment, giving in to the dumb yet dangerous military complex. The US has no friends, only enemies and vassals. Many people thought that Trump might change that situation, but it surely won't happen.
    • AnomicDust
      Trump may have found out the Russians have first strike capability, even though the US formally allows the option.
    • cromwellin reply tomd74(Show commentHide comment)
      md74,
      you are right.
      I ask myself: maybe this is good ... their empire will weaken more and more, and within the country the distance between people and power will lead to civil war.
      sides are desperately divided by large deep hatred and irreconcilable.
      each of them is a state within a state, and they lost under the high-sounding rhetoric, the constitutional sense of unity, that they lost the love for national unity. They hate each other among themselves. Civil War ... I'd be happy.
    • avatar
      FightForTruth
      Lol there is no such thing as an American president. He is a good actor, spokesman, and a target to distract and point a finger at. The president makes no decisions whatsoever, he just follows the script. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump at all lol.
    • avatar
      jas
      That's NOT trump's position.
      "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes"
      twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/811977223326625792?lang=en
    • Capt'nSkippy !!!
      What the hell is he thinking of? The only SO CALLED major threat was Russia which was and still is old cold war rhetoric. Of course China but never anything that has been confrontational. If anything he should be setting a example of deescalation and making approaches to other nuke countries to do the same. Its becoming more evident that he is no longer running to his own initiative but that of another persuasion!!
    • avatar
      seanrkearney
      Waste of time and money if you ask me......
    • avatar
      cast235
      Pensioners like Social security, public employees, have NOT gotten a raise in over 4 years.
      And to raise cash the best idea is to , fabricate YET more nukes?
      And then U.S wants to talk about missile defense? REALLY?
      I mean Gorbachev and YELTSIN would had been dancing with the U.S flag's raised. SO BIG ones that they could had been seen from the oval office.

      Russia doesn't need this garbage deal anyways. U.S seems to think ONLY on all Russian strengths when looking for deals.
      ASK FOOL Gorbachev how it went when the military was removed from the west of the Soviet Union.
      Color revolutions were ready and willing.
      They knew that that was the ONLY thing that was holding the Union together.

      I was appalled that a court , removed the sentence of an opposition guy in Russia. E.U began celebrating and U.k, U.S NATO.. HE is a PUPPET.
    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      Some senseless inane comments on FB post suggesting everything is a 'deal' now and that's bad! hell's teeth it was always I repeat always a 'deal' the only difference is Trump 'projects' the deal concept more openly.

      Derek mentions that a war is our fate but that nukes may not have been used by Hillary!!? really! my guess is that at least 50% of voters who voted Trump and millions who DIDNOT vote at all were petrified Hillary would use nukes and get the US super fried in the process.

      Derek goes on to laugh hysterically that Trump was always going to turn out a chump and was dedicated to building up the military! that point is with what?

      20 Trillion in debt and the dollar commissions on use on the way down all these fancy promises of spend spend spend on military would have to come at the expense of job creation and the promises made to his voters which would see a massive negative reaction occur in the US.

      This is the bad cop rhetoric projected at the early part of the process once the negotiations start the good cop will come out behind closed doors.

      To be fair we wont really get a handle on a truer picture for likely at least 6 months so these d#ckheads like Derek can go and get a grip on there BS.
    • nuclearstarr
      It is starting to look like the bad deal was Trump. He got the deplorables vote not only because he promised to rebuild America, but also because he said that he didn't want war with Russia, that he would stop US military interventions around the world. Building more nukes wasn't exactly on that list.
    • Korz53
      Oh brother! Here we go again, arms race?
    • avatar
      nonyank
      The picture says it all, a self absorbed ego maniac with visions of godhood.
    • avatar
      Tolerance
      Whether the US is at the top or the bottom of the pack makes no difference in terms of the fate of the World in case of a nuclear war. All human beings would be obliterated. However, from a financial point of view it makes a large difference if the USA spends one trillion dollars in the next five years to acquire one thousand additional nukes and the means to deliver them. The already battered economy of the USA will be destroyed completely.
    • avatar
      beydety
      "the US needs to build up its nuclear arsenal after having “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”

      The US alone has enough Nukes to blow up 200 worlds, so I'm not surprised with that idiotic statement, just shows how clueless he is.
    • avatar
      double bonus
      [Trump said that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed by the two foremost nuclear powers Russia and the US, said it was a "one-sided deal." "Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it’s START, whether it’s the Iran deal…we’re going to start making good deals," the President exclaimed.]

      It obviously is not all that wise to put the START Treaty on the same plane as the IRAN Nuclear Deal. Not sure why it is perceived to be "one-sided" or a "bad deal"? This type of language is too imprecise to be constructive for either side.
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