Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Trump Claims He Modernized America's Nuclear Arsenal in 7 Months

Trump Claims He Modernized America's Nuclear Arsenal in 7 Months

In an ongoing war of words with North Korea, the US President Donald Trump tweeted that his first order as president was to renovate and modernize the American nuclear arsenal, which is now stronger than ever before and added that Washington will never allow any nation to surpass US power.

"My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal", he wrote.

Trump was apparently referring to a review of United States nuclear weapons that began earlier this year, which he directed Defense Secretary James Mattis to undertake in a presidential memorandum signed during a January visit to the Pentagon.

"Trump, '" Gorka said in a Fox interview. The Pentagon last conducted a review in 2010 that was ordered by then-President Barack Obama.

Todd Harrison, Director of the Aerospace Security Project and Defense Budget Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told BuzzFeed News that under the Trump administration the nuclear arsenal has "basically remained the same" and in some cases, the number has reduced to comply with the New START treaty - a 2011 agreement between the USA and Russian Federation to reduce and limit the number of nuclear weapons.

While the former reality TV star's proposed budget did call for a $1.4 billion increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration, that is effectively part of a long budget wish list and wouldn't take effect until next year.

Under Obama's deal, the U.S., while making reductions to its nuclear arsenal, would also fund programs to modernize the existing arsenal to make them more effective and safe.

When host Tim Russert pushed back against the idea of military action against North Korea, Trump insisted that it was better to consider striking early rather than wait for North Korea to get stronger. He added that, "The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act, and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to play down the rhetoric.

The escalating threats followed reports that North Korea has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.

"I think the President just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the USA unquestionable ability to defend itself [.] and its allies and I think it was important that he deliver that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part".

The White House has not specified what actions would cross the line Trump laid out in his remarks.

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