23 December, 2016
In today's PDB, Trump likely heard that Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered an address to the Kremlin's Defense Ministry Board in which he declared the Russian military the strongest in the world and called for upgrading the Russian nuclear program with missiles that would defeat even the most advanced anti-missile systems.
The Pentagon, in its 2017, budget has several initiatives aimed at modernizing its nuclear arsenal.
The language echoes old Cold War rhetoric: Our missiles must be able to serve as a deterrent to usage by existing as a threat to enemies.
President-elect Donald Trump has set Washington atwitter again with a cryptic and seemingly unprompted pronouncement about the necessity to expand the US' nuclear capabilities.
Trump has said he wants to rip up the global deal limiting Iran's nuclear program.
Much has been made of Trump and Putin's mutual admiration society, but reacting to Russian nuclear bombast with an expansion of American nuclear capabilities is hardly the way to make the U.S., or the world, safer.
Trump, who sees foreign policy through the eyes of an ultimate deal maker, may have felt the need to respond to Putin's remarks.
Cold Monday, but Warmer Temperatures Ahead
The temperatures won't be quite as cold where low clouds linger and the best chance for that sets up east of I-65. We expect mostly sunny skies and very comfortable temperatures with highs in the mid to upper 40s.
Of the approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons still in existence, about 93 percent belong to the US or Russian Federation, according to an FAS report.
Despite long-term efforts by Washington to reduce its atomic arsenal, the president-elect tweeted such action was needed until the world comes to its senses regarding nukes. Perhaps it means: As long as Russia's revamping its own arsenal.
People like John Noonan, a Republican national security expert who advised former GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, were left to argue that Trump's propensity to lash out against anyone who criticizes him would not mix well with weapons of mass destruction. Trump has repeatedly indicated, though, that he saw room for the nuclear arms race to heat back up - this time with more players.
Donald Trump's tweet is in direct contrast to Barack Obama's views on nuclear arms. He repeated that argument a week later.
Trump weighed in with a tweet just hours after Putin spoke following a meeting with his military advisers to review the activity of the past year.
Putin also praised Russia's nuclear triad, which is a nation's nuclear weapons delivery system including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. "Russia and the US already own over 93 percent of the world's nuclear arsenal ― more than enough to deter the other and destroy humanity".