Tuesday, January 09, 2018

El Presidente Strangelove

In 2016 then candidate Donald Trump was given a briefing on the vexing issue of nuclear weapons.  According to his then buddy and confidante, Joe Scarborough, three times Trump asked the briefer why America had nuclear weapons if it couldn't use them.

Well in Trumpland, America is getting closer to using nukes than it has been in decades. It's a two-pronged approach - lowering the threshold for the use of nukes and development of smaller, more "usable" nuclear devices.

Arms control advocates have voiced alarm at the new proposal to make smaller, more “usable” nuclear weapons, arguing it makes a nuclear war more likely, especially in view of what they see as Donald Trump’s volatility and readiness to brandish the US arsenal in showdowns with the nation’s adversaries.

The NPR also expands the circumstances in which the US might use its nuclear arsenal, to include a response to a non-nuclear attack that caused mass casualties, or was aimed at critical infrastructure or nuclear command and control sites.

The nuclear posture review (NPR), the first in eight years, is expected to be published after Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech at the end of January.

[Jon] Wolfsthal, who has reviewed what he understands to be the final draft of the review, said it states that the US will start work on reintroducing a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, as a counter to a new ground-launched cruise missile the US has accused Russia of developing in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

Trump doesn't do "nuance" and there's no area as nuanced as nuclear weapons policy.


Anonymous said...

If they want to keep that sea-launched cruise missile they better find a reason for it other than "as a counter to a new ground-launched cruise missile the US has accused Russia of developing." Trump doesn't do what Putin wouldn't like.


The Mound of Sound said...

Well, Cap, Victoria and Wilhelm were cousins but that didn't avert the Dreadnought race or the insane carnage on the battlefields of Belgium and France, did it?

Anonymous said...

I believe the Wilhelm in question was one of Victoria's grandsons, as were King George V and Czar Nicholas II. The descriptions of Wilhelm II remind me of someone, but I just can't put my finger on it:

"... superficial, hasty, restless, unable to relax, without any deeper level of seriousness, without any desire for hard work or drive to see things through to the end, without any sense of sobriety, for balance and boundaries, or even for reality and real problems, uncontrollable and scarcely capable of learning from experience, desperate for applause and success,—as Bismarck said early on in his life, he wanted every day to be his birthday—romantic, sentimental and theatrical, unsure and arrogant, with an immeasurably exaggerated self-confidence and desire to show off, a juvenile cadet, who never took the tone of the officers' mess out of his voice, and brashly wanted to play the part of the supreme warlord, full of panicky fear of a monotonous life without any diversions, and yet aimless, pathological in his hatred against his English mother."

Indeed, after meeting with his cousin Wilhelm in 1902, Nicholas remarked: “He’s raving mad!” If only Nicholas had arranged some early silent "pee footage" of Wilhelm. Imagine how many lives could have been saved.


The Mound of Sound said...

Excellent contribution, Cap. Loved it. Thanks.