If there's one thing we can surmise from this year, it's that President-elect Donald Trump probably doesn't consider what he's thinking for too long before he tweets it to his millions of followers. And his newest outrageous tweet has to do with a pretty important topic that has lots of Americans concerned: nuclear weapons. The president-elect tweeted Thursday that the United States should increase its nuclear capability. But how many nuclear weapons does the United States have already?
According to the Federation of American Scientists, the nation has a lot. Or, at least about as much as Russia does. In fact, they report that the United States and Russia control about 93 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world. Russia reportedly has a total of 7,300 while the United States supposedly has a total of 7,000 deployed, reserved, and military stockpiled nuclear weapons. It's worth noting though that USA Today's reporting calculated the United States had slightly less, at 6,970. And according to the current plan, roughly a third of U.S. and Russia weapons will be taken apart so that they are no longer effective.
Overall, the amount of nuclear weapons have been greatly reduced since the 1960s, when the United States had control of more than 31,000 nuclear warheads, according to USA Today. And the nation hasn't found a reason to produce any more nuclear weapons since the Cold War.
According to USA Today, Trump's tweet comes a day after he met with senior military officers for a national security briefing.
The scary thing about Trump's tweet is that he is essentially suggesting he wants to build up America's nuclear weapons stockpile, which could very easily alarm other countries. If someone else, like Russia, thinks that the United States is going to start making more nuclear weapons, of course there's a chance that they'll think it's a good idea to do the same. Needless to say, that could spiral out of control.
There's a specific reason why the United States should really be careful how it approaches the possibility of strengthening its nuclear capability. On top of that, it's probably not a conversation that needs to take place on Twitter. In 2011, the U.S. and Russia formed an agreement called the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms whereby both nations pledged to reduce their nuclear inventories.
Considering that it was only a few months ago that Trump demonstrated his lack of nuclear weapon knowledge, this is not a great sign of things to come. Hopefully, there are enough people surrounding Trump who have a deeper understanding of the situation.