Rightly so, the country is in an uproar about free speech and white supremacy. But far more threatening is the global proliferation of nuclear weapons. Even lesser developed countries have nuclear programs. Every one of them represents an existential threat to the U.S. and its allies.
The most troublesome nuclear countries are North Korea and Iran. But larger countries with more sophisticated weaponry, such as Russia, China, India and Pakistan, are a much greater strategic problem. The former group is in the process of building their nuclear capabilities and each is rogue, unstable and cannot be trusted. The latter are important because their nuclear arsenals are significant, and they encourage the U.S. to jack up its investment in defense.
As a matter of fact the Trump administration has announced that it is considering a huge upgrade of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The ramifications of such an endeavor are significant.
The U.S. currently is able to deliver intercontinental ballistic missiles from silos domiciled throughout the country, submarines and Air Force bombers. Most of the proposed spending would likely go to the land and bomber-based programs.
The land-based “40-year-old missiles . . .” need to be replaced.” And the Air Force is “developing a highly stealthy nuclear cruise missile, which [can be] launched from planes.” These programs began during the Obama administration. The former president thought that more accurate nuclear weapon targeting would enable the U.S. to reduce its overall arsenal, a dubious and unsubstantiated perspective.
The importance of all these upgrades is that the U.S. will need to spend at least $1 trillion during a period of significant budget constraints. With pressure from conservatives, other spending priorities will be impacted.
Increased weapons development by the U.S. will likely encourage other nuclear powers to upgrade their capabilities. And so we have the beginnings of a new and more dangerous nuclear arms race.
Smaller countries with nuclear weapons will take note that more accurate nuclear weapons could be used in a regional war against them, perhaps in a pre-emptive attack.
The issue of an ever-increasing military budget is as old as the U.S. A strong military to secure our freedom has always been considered a noble objective. But the proposed spending will impact social programs and there will be opposition.
Finally there is a concern about Donald Trump orchestrating a massive increase in military expenditures. Some in the aforementioned articles do not believe that the Trump administration has a well thought out strategic program for these weapons. And so initiating individual projects now may be premature.
In a related article the controversy about the Iran nuclear deal was discussed. The current status of the arrangement is that Iran has been complying with its provisions. The author of this article has indicated many times in previous essays that taking Iran’s word and/or assuming it does not have secret programs in violation of the treaty is folly and incredibly naive.
In any case Trump wants to increase sanctions against Iran, which may cause the nuclear deal to crater. This would be in response to Iran’s ongoing destabilization of the Middle East. Yet another article indicates that Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon are supporting rebel forces in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.
The world is becoming more dangerous every day. For this reason it is difficult to argue against a very strong American military capability. But concerns are growing about the current president’s acumen to navigate through these frightening times.