Trump Wanted To Expand Nuclear Arsenal By 10 Times Its Current Size

By on October 11, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called President Donald Trump a “moron” after a meeting discussing national security matters this past summer.

We may now know the reason why Tillerson allegedly called Trump that word: the president purportedly told his military advisers at that meeting that he desired to rebuild the nation’s nuclear arsenal, amounting to a massive increase in our nuclear weaponry. Trump’s suggestion would have increased the number of nuclear weapons the U.S. has by ten times its current size.

Our current count of nuclear weapons is roughly 6,800 warheads, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, an organization that seeks to limit and eventually get rid of the world’s nuclear arsenal. The group was selected as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize last week.

Russia has about 7,000 warheads. Both nations have been steadily decreasing their count of nuclear weapons.

While the goal of both nations (and several others around the globe) is to limit the number even further, Trump, seeing a graph depicting how the U.S. had lowered its number of nuclear arms by year, didn’t want to be at the bottom of the graph, and suggested we rebuild our arsenal, the report from NBC News indicates.

The idea of increasing our nuclear capabilities by tenfold is an idea that is cartoonish on its face, were it not so serious an issue. Increasing our current stockpile by that rate would result in more than 70,000 nuclear weapons — two times the highest number of weapons we’ve ever had, and even higher than the number that Russia’s ever held.

The implications for such an increase would likely set up a new arms race between the United States and Russia, and could also set off a scramble for other nations to seek nuclear capabilities. It would undoubtedly escalate tensions between The U.S. and North Korea.

There is no current plan to assemble a bigger nuclear arsenal — military aides and the president’s top civilian officials reportedly talked him down from such thoughts. But it demonstrates a greater point, that this president is unaware of the politics and nuances of our nuclear policy, including knowing that such a buildup would violate treaties we have with nations from around the world. We knew as much last year, during a debate when Trump struggled to effectively explain what the nuclear triad is.

President Trump isn’t just a terrible president who is peddling ineffective and detrimental domestic policies — he’s apparently also a danger to the security and safety of the entire world. His ignorance on nuclear politics gives greater concern about the man who’s constantly an arm’s reach from the nuclear codes that would start a world war.