Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump, Engineering Advisers, and the North Korea Crisis

Trump, Engineering Advisers, and the North Korea Crisis

Most mainstream opinion polls - even from the right-leaning Rasmussen Reports, a Trump favorite - have shown Trump scoring all-time low approval ratings through his first months in office. And while he hoped that "we will never have to use this power", the world can be certain that the U.S. "is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before".

However, several nuclear policy experts called the president's claims "completely false", "a total lie", "patently absurd", and "misleading." . And what's more, judging by these tweets, he doesn't seem to even understand his own nuclear arsenal or its current status.

President Trump's confusion over nuclear modernization-sliding from plans to realities too easily-could be cleared up if he had among his advisers an electrical engineer, as I have also argued in a Spectral Lines column earlier this year.

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Any recent upgrades to the arsenal are the result of Obama-era initiatives that authorized $1 trillion in nuclear spending over the next 30 years.

"My expectation is it will take several more months to complete the Nuclear Posture Review, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Review will follow it, because the second review is actually informed by numerous strategic choices that will be made in the Nuclear Posture Review", said Silva.

In 1967, the Pentagon wielded a total of 31,225 nuclear warheads, according to a declaration the US made in 2010 as part of strategic negotiations with Russian Federation.

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The review has not yet been completed, and it wasn't Trump's first order.

Eight other memorandums and four executive orders - including ones terminating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, calling for the construction of a border wall and urging the repeal of the Affordable Care act - preceded it. In fact, the arsenal has significantly shrunk since the height of the Cold War. The three legs of the triad were created to ensure that even in a massive surprise attack, at least one leg would survive to deliver a retaliatory strike. Only then will the Department of Defense revitalize the country's nuclear weapons. That money has yet to be allocated.

"But it is a review, and therefore not in itself a decision to make any actual changes to the American nuclear arsenal", Andrea Berger, Senior Research Associate at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told BuzzFeed News. The Times has written at length on the deteriorating state of various aspects of the nuclear force.

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