Donald Trump says he wants to ‘greatly strengthen and expand’ U.S. nuclear capability, a radical break from U.S. foreign policy

In lockstep with Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat:

 

President-Elect Donald J. Trump looks out after a meeting with military leadership at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

 

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday called for the United States to expand its nuclear arsenal, after Russian President Vladi­mir Putin said his country’s nuclear potential needs fortifying, in what would reverse decades of efforts to reduce the number and size of the two countries’ nuclear weapons.

In a tweet that offered no details, Trump said, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

Trump’s tweet came shortly after Putin, during a defense ministry meeting, talked tough on nuclear weapons.

“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,” he said.

Currently, the United States has just under 5,000 warheads in its active arsenal, and more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads, a number that fluctuates. Under the New START Treaty, the main strategic arms treaty in place, both the U.S. and Russia must deploy no more than 1,550 strategic by February of 2018. Both countries are on track to meet that limit, which will remain in force until 2021, when they can decide to extend the agreement for another five years.

Full article: Donald Trump says he wants to ‘greatly strengthen and expand’ U.S. nuclear capability, a radical break from U.S. foreign policy (The Washington Post)

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