President-elect Trump’s blusterous statements could lead to an expensive expansion in global nuclear weapons and an increased risk for nuclear accidents and war.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC – Today, during an off-camera discussion with the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, President-elect Donald Trump reportedly followed-up on his escalatory tweet from yesterday about nuclear weapons policy by saying “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
In response, Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation National Advisory Board member and former Senator (D-ND) commented,
“The statements made by President-elect Trump undermine decades of work the United States and its allies have been involved in to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles and to prevent the additional proliferation of nuclear weapons. A nuclear arms race puts everyone on this planet in greater danger.”
Jim Walsh, an international security expert at MIT and Center contributor stated,
““Mr. Trump clearly does not understand that these pronouncements have unsettling implications for our allies, the nonproliferation regime, and for American treaty commitments. He is not yet President, has no confirmed cabinet or security team in place, and skips his intelligence briefings. Using Twitter to blurt out ill-conceived changes to US nuclear weapons doctrine is unwise if not downright dangerous.”
John Tierney, the Executive Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and a former 18-year Member of Congress, added:
“The U.S. and Russia possess approximately 14,000 nuclear weapons, nearly 93 percent of the world’s total, and enough to annihilate the planet numerous times over. Any nuclear escalation, let alone a new nuclear arms race, is dangerous, destabilizing, and places the entire planet further at risk.”
“Donald Trump is no longer a private businessman. He is the President-elect of the United States. This form of nuclear saber rattling could represent the most dangerous turn in global nuclear weapons policy since the end of the Cold War. Mr. Trump must immediately disavow his own statement for the sake of U.S. and international security.”
“From Ronald Reagan to George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama, there has been a bipartisan consensus that there should be a reduction in the reliance on nuclear weapons in U.S. defense policy and a decrease in the overall stockpile of nuclear warheads. The President-elect’s statements today threaten that sound policy.”
“The United States is already planning to spend approximately $1 trillion on its nuclear arsenal over the next three decades. Mr. Trump will also have to explain how a new nuclear arms race would be affordable, let alone a sound policy choice. As the President-elect, every major statement he makes can have serious ramifications.”
Senator Byron L. Dorgan, international security expert Jim Walsh and Congressman John Tierney are available for further comment and broadcast bookings by contacting Hazel Correa at 202.546.0795 X 2115 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a national non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to enhancing peace and security through expert policy analysis and thought-provoking research. Since 1980, the Center’s expertise on reducing the threats of war and nuclear weapons has been sought by the media and policymakers – supported by the tax-deductible contributions of foundations and individuals. www.ArmsControlCenter.org.