11:36 GMT25 September 2020
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    US President-elect wants to update the country’s nuclear weapons capabilities but not increase its weapons holdings, former CIA Director and Trump advisor James Woolsey said on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Trump stated that that Washington should "greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability." Earlier on Friday, he said the United States should enter an arms face.

    "I think he's right because we have been degrading our nuclear capability over the last eight years," Woolsey said in an interview with CNBC.

    He claimed President Barack Obama had done "virtually nothing" to modernize the program, but said he does not think Trump is committed to increasing the numbers of US nuclear weapons.

    "You got to make sure your forces can't be taken out with a first strike. That takes money. That takes effort," he stressed.

    Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer also tried to downplay the president-elect's comments, telling US media on Friday that Trump was trying to protect US interests.

    The United States will not just sit back and allow other countries to expand their nuclear potential, he said.

    By the early 2040s, the United States is expected to replace and upgrade all three legs of its nuclear triad, amounting to costs that some experts have put at close to $1 trillion.

    Nuclear weapons remain a key component of the US national defense strategy and officials have maintained their commitment to protecting the nuclear deterrent.

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    Tags:
    nuclear weapons, Donald Trump, James Woolsey, United States
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