The president-elect gave the world yet another example of how he proposes to govern the country on Thursday, and it's a frightening one. Donald Trump's tweet about nuclear weapons — which could have come in response to a statement from Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that Russia needed to strengthen its nuclear capabilities — is a prime example of how two bullies interact with each other. And it ought to put the rest of the world on its guard.
Trump's now infamous tweet was remarkably unclear, leaving plenty of room for interpretation. However, the most likely interpretation seems to be that Trump would like to expand America's nuclear arsenal, which would be a clear rejection of decades of American and international nuclear policies. If that is the correct interpretation, then it looks like a return to the Cold War era isn't impossible. Russia and the United States locked in an arms race that could jeopardize the safety of the entire world? Feels an awful lot like deja vu to me.
If this is what Trump meant by "make America great again," then I'm not interested. An unclear and belligerent tweet is probably just about the best response that the Russian leader could have hoped for when he brought up the idea of expanding Russia's own nuclear power.
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
The most worrying part of this whole issue is Trump's exceedingly strange record on nuclear weapons. Can you forget the moment from one of the Republican primary debates when he demonstrated his lack of understanding about the nuclear triad and instead literally said, "I think — I think for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me"?
Yeah, I can't forget that either. Perhaps he's educated himself further on "the devastation" by now — after all, that quote came about a year ago, and I think everyone has learned a few things since then. However, he's made it clear in the past that he's loathe to pay attention to the experts on really anything (remember, he has a very good brain), so why should that be any different when the issue is nuclear policy?
Going off what the president-elect has said and done in the past, it's reasonable to assume that this tweet wasn't something that he considered for hours and consulted with other people on. It's likely that he doesn't actually have a new policy proposal regarding nukes. This tweet was probably just an uninformed bully's response to a very well-informed bully, and having that combination of people in power at opposite sides of the globe creates a risk for everyone.