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State of the Union: Trump Wants More Nukes?
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30 Jan 2018 10:54 PM EST

- by Jorge Vargas, Editor

Most of the media will focus on the issue of immigration and how Donald Trump may have tried to mix Dreamers with MS-13 gang members in the popular imagination. Others may focus on the short shrift provided to the opioid epidemic, or to the inspiring stories that Trump, following on a somewhat tired and cynical presidential tradition, but let's focus instead of Donald Trump's plea for a bolstered military budget.

He's right that no military can operate without having a clear sense of its budget in the coming months. 

Trump is also right that strength can (and arguably should) be used as a weapon toward defense. 

The United States military is the strongest military in the world, both in terms of conventional weaponry, as well as in nuclear strength. Where the U.S. military is not necessarily as dominant is in the cyber realm, where China and Russia have demonstrated key strenghts of their own. 

Trump, however, did not focus on Russia's cyber-security prowess. 

He, instead, focused on the nation's nuclear arsenal. He even, potentially cynically, sneered about world peace and how world peace is not a reality today. 

Donald Trump has called for the United States to expand its nuclear arsenal in order to scare other countries into inaction. This plays well to his base, which apparently measures the greatness of the United States by counting up how many guns and bombs the nation's military possesses. 

In reality, however, the United States already has more than enough nuclear weapons to force other countries into inaction, and the only nation which matches the U.S. is Russia, which can easily match the U.S. nuclear arsenal for some time, risking another slide into a useless arms race.

Few in the media will call this out, because to question military spending has become tantamount to treason, but responsible people must genuinely question why the U.S. would invest more in nuclear weapons that, at this point, would be inconsequential, when there are greater needs such as childhood poverty, healthcare crises, and income inequality, all of which are items that Trump has, in one form or another, suggested that he cares about. 

So, yes, criticize Trump for his stance on immigration and race relations and identity politics, but let's also criticize him (and Republicans and Democrats all over Washington), for their neverending support toward the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us against.

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