Donald Trump tweets on expanding US nuclear capabilities

By @mik_mapa on
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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump talks to members of the media at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 21, 2016. Reuters/Carlos Barria

Donald Trump has tweeted that the US should expand its nuclear capabilities several hours after Vladimir Putin spoke in a meeting aiming to strengthen Russia's strategic nuclear forces. Putin also said during the meeting on Thursday that Russia has a stronger military now than any of its potential aggressors.

In his tweet, Trump said that the US should greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time that the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.

Read more: Russia: Vladimir Putin says military is stronger than any potential aggressor

However, head of the Arms Control Association in Washington Daryl Kimball, said that Trump's post was unclear. It did not state whether he was backing the existing US nuclear modernisation program or he was talking about the addition of nuclear warheads.

Kimball described the tweet as a ham-handed effort to back the modernisation program after President-elect Trump held a meeting with national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday. They were joined by some of top military brass from Pentagon.

Kimball stressed that Trump was very irresponsible in using a short tweet to show the future direction of the nation's policy.

Trump transition team spokesman Jason Miller said that Trump was referring to the threat of nuclear proliferation and the critical need to prevent it. He said that the threat was particularly to terrorist organisations and unstable and rogue regimes.

It was the second time for Trump's aides to recast his statement. In his statement on Wednesday, Trump said that recent terror attacks in Europe had vindicated his campaign pledge to bar Muslims from entering the United States.

However, the aides restated it that his promise aimed to implement strict vetting. They also said that it meant to suspend the admission of people from countries associated with terrorism.

Russia and the US are both modernising their existing nuclear arsenals. They are replacing their ageing missile systems with modern weapons that are harder to stop and more precise. They are also shifting from smaller types of weapon.

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