The threat of nuclear armageddon just became uncomfortably likelier, thanks to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. The Russian dictator just held a press conference in which he declared the need to develop and enhance Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems.”
The missile defense system in Europe is maintained by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Putin”s words are a clear shot across the American bow, seeing as we have the only comparable nuclear arsenal and are the primary geopolitical rival of the Russian Federation.
Donald Trump, two hours later, responded by saying the same thing – that America must also expand and update our nuclear weapons, which, by the way, we are set to spend a trillion dollars on over the next ten years. Whether or not he intends to build new weapons – as if the 4,500 we have right now aren’t enough to destroy the entire planet multiple times over – is yet to be seen.
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
It’s worth remembering that Donald Trump has indicated that he would not be opposed to using nuclear weapons, casually saying that it shouldn’t be “off the table” in combatting Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and has expressed support for allowing other nations like Japan to develop their own nuclear bombs. “If we have [nuclear weapons] why can’t we use them?” he wondered, not once but three times to national security expert.
Donald Trump has already shown that he’s willing to provoke international incidents for no reason, and the idea of him with nuclear launch codes are downright terrifying. Studies from the Cold War that modelled a nuclear confrontation with Russia had civilian casualty rates as high as eighty million people.
Not only is expanding our nuclear arsenal putting the entire world in great danger, it is a colossal waste of taxpayer money that we really can’t afford. We’ve spent $8.8 trillion since 1960 building and maintaining these barbaric devices whose sole purpose is mass slaughter. Just think of where our country might be if we invested our money in infrastructure and public education.
We wouldn’t have an egomanical narcisstic overgrown child as our president, that’s for damn sure.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.