Thursday, 22 December 2016

U.S, Russia To increase nuclear weapons activities

The U.S. and Russia appear poised to increase their respective nuclear weapons capabilities, according to statements made today by Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Trump made his defense policy remarks during a posting on the social media platform, Twitter, early this afternoon.
Putin made his comments during a meeting of his defense ministry.

"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes," said President-elect Trump.
Trump had talked about updating the American nuclear arsenal during the presidential campaign, previously, but the short, 150 character Twitter message was his longest discourse on the matter so far.

There may be several reasons behind the move by Trump and his national security team, led by Gen. Michael Flynn, the national security advisor, Gen. James Mattis, the Defense Secretary, and other former military officials at homeland security and in the White House.
During the last year, there have been a number of reports in the international media that indicate ISIS may have acquired radioactive materials to produce a nuclear weapon. Trump and team view ISIS as America's top strategic, military threat.

Additionally, the Chinese are increasingly flexing their muscles over territories in the South China Sea and claiming international sea lanes as being a part of their territory.
Trump's generals and advisors may be nudging him to signal the Chinese that the U.S. takes the sovereignty of its neighbors and trading partners in the South China Sea and the nearby Sea of Japan seriously as a defense matter, experts said.

Russia's comments come in the context of the increased revenues expected next year from oil production cuts -- and higher prices. The Russians have been unable to modernize their military, and buy 2500 tanks, as desired, for some time, due to low oil prices. Its recent agreement with OPEC may increase its cash flow, giving it the capability to purchase the tanks as well as nuclear weapons.
The Washington Post erroneously on Thursday afternoon, labeled Trump's remarks as a "radical break for U.S. foreign policy." Nuclear weapons are an element of defense policy, not foreign policy, however.

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